Donald Trump is always looking around for excuses to use immigration to divide the country to his own political benefit, and he’s currently looking for ways to distract from his fatal incompetence on coronavirus. Monday night he tweeted out the latest plan on both fronts: “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!”
Rep. Joaquin Castro nailed what Trump’s doing here, tweeting, “This action is not only an attempt to divert attention away from Trump's failure to stop the spread of the coronavirus and save lives, but an authoritarian-like move to take advantage of a crisis and advance his anti-immigrant agenda. We must come together to reject his division.”
This isn’t Trump’s first move to use coronavirus as an excuse to limit immigration. His administration had already, in recent weeks, slowed visa processing, imposed travel restrictions on people from China and most of Europe, and put in place even more brutal treatment of asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants trying to come to the U.S. This, though, would be a significant expansion, The New York Times reports: “A formal order temporarily barring the provision of new green cards and work visas could come as early as the next few days, according to several people familiar with the plan.”
In other words, what Stephen Miller has been pushing for all along.
Guess what, though? The plan is to exempt migrant farmworkers and healthcare workers, The Wall Street Journal reports. Excluding the former would quickly show the importance of immigrants to the U.S. workforce, showing the lie of “they’re taking our jobs” rhetoric, and excluding the latter would be a real problem for the Trump administration’s efforts to justify the policy in court (there will definitely be a legal challenge) by saying it’s all about keeping people safe from COVID-19.
“President Trump now seeks to distract us from his fumbled COVID-19 response by trying to put the blame on immigrants. The truth is many immigrants are on our front lines, protecting us as doctors, nurses, health aids, farmworkers, and restaurant workers,” Rep. Jerry Nadler tweeted. “We need to come together to beat this disease, not attack each other and divide the country. This is a disgrace—demonizing so many of those who are serving on the front lines against COVID while the President shows himself as small and ineffective.”
”Tonight we have crossed 790,000 infections and 42,000 dead. This corrupt buffoon will will try any poisonous distraction and blame anyone to deflect from his failures that are killing our fellow Americans,” according to Rep. Bill Pascrell.
They’re not wrong.
Posted with permission from Daily Kos.