Trump administration officials began scrambling to finalize an executive order on Tuesday morning after President Donald Trump said in a late-night tweet he would temporarily suspend all immigration to the United States as a means to help the country battle the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.
What We Know:
- Officials were still working to draft the executive order, according to an administration official, but hope to have it completed in the next few days for Trump to sign. While the language is still being finalized, the order is expected to temporarily halt the issuance of new green cards and work visas.
- A second administration official told CNN the executive order will be a “temporary 120 days or so” halt on “some” work visas to mitigate some of the unemployment concerns related to the pandemic.
- As far as other aspects of the order, much remains unclear from the administration, though many consider this move a way for the president to continue pushing the controversial parts of his agenda, while the pandemic has gained a majority of the public’s attention for now.
- Against the backdrop of the pandemic, the Trump administration has tried to move forward with some of its most restrictive policies that it had struggled to put into practice prior to the spread of the coronavirus, including blocking entry to asylum seekers.
- Meanwhile, as Trump is looking to close the border, he is encouraging protests against stay-at-home orders and has issued a call for the states to phase-in reopening beginning May 1st.
Ali Noorani, the executive director of the National Immigration Forum, said on Twitter, “This is not about the policy. It is about the message the president wants to send. He wants people to turn against ‘the other.” He clearly references the presidents attempt to push politics into a national crisis.