Trump Signs Executive Order to Halt Immigration

Nick Fowler, Reporter

On Monday April 13 President Donald Trump tweeted that he would be signing an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration to the United States, and he did so on Wednesday April 22, claiming the move would protect American’s jobs after the economic fallout caused by the coronavirus is over.

The order says that the Trump administration would no longer approve any applications from foreigners to live and work in the United States for 60 days, but Trump also said that he would possibly extend this after reviewing economic conditions when the 60 days are up. The order applies to requests for permanent residence based both on employment and on familial ties. It is worth noting that, according to Ted Hesson of Reuters, a majority of employment-based green cards are granted to people inside the United States and thereby not covered by the ban. While most family-based green cards are granted to people outside the country. Foreigners already in the country will not be blocked.

“I don’t know why anyone would want to move here right now anyway considering we have such a high death rate,” said Bishop Blanchet senior Massimo Hussing.

Although in his tweet all Trump said was that he was suspending immigration, there are a few notable exceptions to this. According to Ted Hesson of Reuters, Doctors, nurses, other healthcare professionals, and others doing work deemed essential to combating Covid-19 are exempt. It excludes immigrants applying for the EB-5 visa program, which allows foreigners who are willing to invest large sums of money in U.S. projects that create or preserve jobs to obtain permanent residency. It excludes spouses of U.S. citizens as well as their unmarried children under the age of 21. It does not affect workers such as farm laborers entering the United States on temporary visas or skilled workers on H-1B visas. And it gives a very broad exemption for “any alien whose entry would be in the national interest.”

According to  Katie Rogers, Michael D. Shear and Zolan Kanno-Youngs of The New York Times, the President believes the move would protect American workers amid the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak, limit the number of infected people who arrive from potential coronavirus hot spots around the world, and relieve pressure on the American healthcare system.

“I really don’t think the reasoning they gave is honest,” said Bishop Blanchet senior Dominic Orsi. “I think he just wants to limit immigration and is using a different route than normal.”

Many immigrant rights activists have agreed, claiming that the administration is using the coronavirus to stop immigration for xenophobic reasons. The order is expected to eventually be challenged in courts.

“I can see how people could think this would protect jobs in the future,” said Bishop Blanchet senior Gianne Aguas, “but given all of the research on how immigration affects the economy I don’t think the reasoning Trump gave is sufficient to justify this move.”