President Donald Trump said he will sign an executive order to temporarily stop all immigrants from entering the United States amid the coronavirus.
On Monday night, Trump wrote in a tweet how his decision came, “in light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy”, which BBC reported to have meant the novel coronavirus.
The President also said that he wanted to “protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens”. BBC found that over the last four weeks, more than 20 million Americans have lost their jobs – this is roughly as many jobs as employers had added over the previous decade.
Trump’s latest decision to suspend immigration came after a resolution passed in late March to swiftly return any migrants attempting to cross into the US from Mexico and Canada. According to Aljazeera, Trump had argued that migrants crossing US borders have worsened the US’ coronavirus outbreak.
Live Mint reported that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services already suspended routine in-person services but is still offering some emergency services.
Immediately after Trump’s tweet, social media users like economist David Rothschild, accused Trump of scapegoating particular countries, instead of enforcing effective testing.
Amid re-election campaigns, Trump and his campaign managers have been reportedly scapegoating China as the main cause behind the coronavirus outbreak. The New York Times reported that “republicans increasingly believe that elevating China’s culpability for spreading the coronavirus may be the best way to improve their election chances. The president is muddying the message.”
Rolling Stone also said that Trump had accused China to have been “knowingly responsible” for this global pandemic during Saturday’s COVID-19 daily briefing. When asked whether China should face consequences if they deliberately did not tell the rest of the world “what was going on”, Trump answered, “Well, if [China] were knowingly responsible, certainly.”
The President added, “If it was a mistake, a mistake is a mistake. But if they were knowingly responsible, yeah, then there should be consequences.”
As of now, Trump has offered no details on what immigration programs might be affected by the order. The White House did not elaborate on Trump’s late night announcement.
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