“Politicizing the Pandemic”: Desperate to Distract from His COVID-19 Failures, Trump Announces Executive Order ‘Banning’ All Immigration

New York, NY—On Monday evening, President Trump declared on Twitter that he would temporarily halt immigration to the United States by executive order. The move seeks to give the Trump administration authority to decline all applications from foreigners to live and work in the United States for an indeterminate time, effectively shutting down the legal immigration system. Even before the tweet, the Administration had expanded travel restrictions, ground visa processing to a halt, and barred asylum seekers from entering the country, effectively using the global pandemic to further their hard-line immigration policies.

In response to President Trump’s announcement, Steve Choi, the Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition, issued the following statement:

"President Trump continues to politicize this pandemic to further his racist anti-immigrant agenda at the expense of every American's health. At a moment when we need a leader who will unite us against the real enemy and put forward a plan to provide real relief to our communities, the President instead continues to flail and search for scapegoats amongst immigrants, hoping that this will distract us from his disastrous, inept and deadly handling of this national crisis. The reality is that millions of immigrants are on the front lines of this pandemic. They provide life-saving support at hospitals, pick the produce on our grocery shelves, and care for our loved ones at home and nursing homes around the country. Now is the time for all of our national leaders—including House Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Schumer—to create a relief package that leaves no Americans behind, regardless of immigration status, ensuring our future collective health and survival."