Another big step in the fight against the invisible enemy.
That’s what President Donald Trump said he would do as he tweeted late Monday night that he would sign an executive order to temporarily stop all immigration to protect the jobs of American citizens.
As of noon on Tuesday, the president’s attorneys and senior officials are reportedly scrambling to work out the logistics and legal implications of the impending order.
They reportedly hope to have it finalized in the next few days for Trump to sign.
The order is said to put a stop to the issuance of new green cards and work visas in the next 120 days or so.
Trump’s national security advisor also cited public health concerns for the move as well.
“The president’s trying to do everything he can to put the health of the American people first during this crisis. And so, this is one step. It’s not dissimilar to the restrictions on travel from China that he implemented back on January 29th at the very outset of this public health crisis. We think that — those restrictions saved thousands or tens of thousands of American lives. JUMPCUT the president’s not going to be guided by politics here. He’s gonna be guided by the health, doing what’s best for the health of the American people.”
But this is move is being seen by some as politically motivated.
BA’s resident political expert, Professor Jay Gonzalez, weighed in.
“This is part of that larger policy and campaign promise you know, America for Americans first. You know, so it you know and he’s trying to find a way to frame the current crisis so that the, you know, it allows him to win in November.”
“You know, and this is part of that framing, you know that I will prioritize you especially those from my base, who have or part of, you know, the 6 million, who have lost their jobs. You know that in the reopening of the economy, you are the priorities, not the people who are going to come into the country.”
The pandemic has already impacted immigration services.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has closed its field offices through May 3 — and all routine in-person services are suspended including biometrics appointments and naturalization ceremonies.
Even the U.S. embassy in Manila is closed for visa issuances.
The U.S. also has current travel restrictions involving China, Canada, Mexico, and several countries from Europe.
Pinoy Panawagan counsel Attorney Lou Tancinco said Trump’s plan to temporarily halt immigration will have a severe impact on the agriculture and healthcare industries.
“There’s a shortage of farmworkers, and if there are no farmworkers, there’s going to be a shortage of food supply, affecting our health as well. And most importantly, the reason that this does not make sense is that there are a lot, and most of them are immigrant healthcare workers who are frontliners right now, protecting us from this coronavirus with this shortage. And with the suspension of legal immigrants, what will it do to us. It is only legal immigration, that will address the shortage of healthcare workers, who’s going to take care of our family members in the event they get sick of this coronavirus. I hope the administration will come to his senses in regards to this plan suspension of legal immigration.”
For Professor Gonzalez, this is something that may weigh on voters’ minds come November.
“Filipinos who have family ties who have petitioned to come into the united states will not receive this very well. You know there are definitely going to be turned off by the president. And, you know, coming november, they will remember this.”
Atty. Tancinco, meanwhile, advised families who plan to file visa petitions or have pending petitions to stay calm until the legal experts await the details of the president’s executive order.