by WorldTribune Staff, April 21, 2020
President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday that he will sign an executive order to “temporarily suspend immigration” as part of his administration’s effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
The Agriculture Department is reportedly working with the White House to publicly clarify that farm workers will be exempt from the president’s order.
Roughly 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the last few weeks as states maintained stay-at-home orders and kept “non-essential” businesses closed.
“22 million Americans have lost their jobs in the last month because of the China virus. Let’s help them get back to work before we import more foreigners to compete for their jobs,” tweeted Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican.
Breitbart News noted that “Such a pause would be the first of its kind in about 55 years and likely the first time in 40 years that annual legal immigration levels would drop below 500,000.”
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote in an op-ed for Breitbart: “Importing workers from abroad to take the few jobs being created makes no sense whatsoever. We need an immediate end to the importation of more foreign workers. This pandemic may have knocked America on its back, but we will get back up and be stronger than ever. In the meantime, we need to give struggling Americans a fighting chance.”
Fox News host Laura Ingraham was one of the first to call for suspending immigration, tweeting on March 18: “All immigration to the U.S. should be halted due to this national emergency — we sure as heck don’t need any foreign workers with millions of Americans on verge of losing their jobs.”
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement that the president “is committed to protecting the health and economic well-being of American citizens as we face unprecedented times.”
“As President Trump has said, ‘Decades of record immigration have produced lower wages and higher unemployment for our citizens, especially for African-American and Latino workers,’ ” McEnany said. “At a time when Americans are looking to get back to work, action is necessary.”
Trump’s authority over immigration is vast and broad.
In June 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed the president’s control over legal immigration. In Trump v. Hawaii, the court stated that presidents have extraordinarily broad discretion to admit or exclude foreign nationals from the U.S. when they believe doing so is in the national interest.
It came as no surprise that Democrats and their allies in the corporate media immediately trotted out the “xenophobia” charge after news of Trump’s order broke.
Democratic New York Rep. Hakeem Jeffries tweeted that Trump is the “xenophobe. In. chief.”
Co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Washington Democrat, tweeted that the president was “giving into racism & xenophobia.”
Democrats, most prominently presumptive 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden, also charged Trump with “xenophobia” after the president issued a ban on travel from China to the U.S. in January. That travel ban, health officials say, likely saved many thousands of lives amid the coronavirus outbreak.
A moratorium on immigration is widely supported by American voters, polls show. An Ipsos poll released this month found that 79 percent want a full halt on immigration to the U.S.
The latest Pew Research Center survey found that more than 80 percent of American adults call mass migration to the U.S. a “threat.”
Rep. Paul Gosar, Arizona Republican, tweeted: “Thank you, @realDonaldTrump! All immigration to the United States should halt until every American who wants a job has one!”
In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2020