US President Donald Trump has said he is blocking US Green card applicants for 60 days because of coronavirus pandemic. A day after he announced the immigration ban via a vague tweet, the President said the move would protect American jobs in tough times. Many think the measure taken is unnecessary as most visa services have already been suspended in the after math of COVID-19. Critics also think that Trump is trying to distract attention away from his administration’s poor response to the disease which has already killed over 45,000 people in the states.
Democrats are also accusing Trump of using the novel coronavirus as an excuse to crack down on immigration which he promised before and after his campaigns as a President-elect. However, the White supremacist President who was gearing up for the November election had to stop on his strong campaigning theme and was undone by the arrival of novel Coronavirus in United States.
At a WH briefing on Corona, Trump announced that the executive order to activate the measure will be signed on Wednesday and the initial 60 day halt could be extended much longer depending on the situation of national economy.
After declaring to place a total ban on immigration to the United States on Monday night, Trump looked in damage control mode following backlash from some business leaders who criticized the original plan and highlighted the implications of the decision. The ban will affect foreigner having temporary working visas including hi-tech employees and farm labor.
Trump mentioned that over 20mn Americans have lost their jobs due to the virus and said that his administration had a solemn duty to ensure its people job security.
“It would be wrong and unjust for Americans laid off by the virus to be replaced with new immigrant labour flown in from abroad.”
He also confirmed that there could be a waived of for some: “We want to protect our US workers and I think as we move forward we will become more and more protective of them”. The measure announced by White House could once again trigger legal implications.
United States at present is totaling the highest number of confirmed cases in the world with over 820, 000 confirmed patients according to the stats provided by Johns Hopkins University.
American Green cards provide immigrants with legal permanent residence in US and an opportunity to seek American citizenship. On average numbers, around 1 million green cards are dispatched in US each year and the majority – counting or nearly 70% – of the recipients are those having relatives in States.
Reacting to the new ban on Immigration, Ali Noorani who represents National Immigration Forum, responded “immigrants account for 17% of healthcare workers and 24% of direct care workers” in the country. The immigration advocate in his tweet said: “It is unfortunate the President would rather scapegoat the other than building a consensus that helps all of through the crisis.”
Andrea Flores of American Civil Liberties Union reacted: “Xenophobia is not a public health response.”
Carl Shusterman who has been practicing immigration law for nearly 5 decades said: “The embassies are not open anyway, so this is likely nothing new. This announcement doesn’t really change anything unless the embassies were to open up next week or in the next 60 days.”
Elsewhere in US
The Senate of the United States has approved another USD 330bn of emergency relief funds on Tuesday to support struggling small business hit by the pandemic.
The State of Missouri has decided to Sue the Chinese government over its involvement in the outspread of the novel Coronavirus by concealing facts and misinformation that had led to severe economic crisis across the globe.