After months of speculation, President Trump announced early Monday a near-complete immigration ban for immigrants applying for green cards. the order corresponds to the initial order that the President announced in early April. The new policy comes amid the administration’s continued threat against immigrants under the veil of the Coronavirus. The new policies are possibly the most sweeping form of immigration restrictions in American history. The newly announced immigration ban is the first of its kind, extending into worker visas and immigrants who are looking to permanently reside within the United States. Even during the height of two world wars, pandemics, and other national crises, the United States has never ceased essentially all legal forms of immigration.
The reasoning behind such actions as stated by the president and the administration officials is to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and to protect American workers from competitive immigrant labor. This comes as the United States leads the world in confirmed COVID-19 cases. The executive branch’s overreach is one of the biggest power-grabs in the nation’s history and sets a negative precedent on what future president’s policies are capable of doing. Such actions counter conservative constitutionalist who focuses on the limits of what the executive branches authority has over congress. How could such actions be permitted under the constitution when immigrants have disproportionately contributed to the healthcare system and the fight to stop the spread of Covid-19.
The initial ban which faced some criticism but had the backing of high-level Trump officials and Republicans was supposed to be temporary, with a reassessment after sixty days. Some officials, like Stephen Miller, a key immigration policy adviser to the president, wish to keep such bans indefinitely. The same reasoning that the initial ban fell under is also being used for the broad immigration restrictions that have no timestamp for when they will end in the new order.
The administration has compounded such injustices by blocking essentially all asylum claims to the United States. Despite violating national, and international law the ban on refugees seeking asylum which protects those being discriminated against on the ground of their race, class, religion, gender, or political views. Many potential immigrants would be traveling from nations that have significantly fewer cases than that of the United States.
The draconian measures taken by the Trump Administration to limit the number of immigrants and continue its exclusion blanket of certain groups of immigrants should not go unnoticed. Neither the coronavirus pandemic nor the supposed wage effects can justify the categorical ban of immigrants into the United States and Connecticut especially. Such actions are counterproductive and hurt immigrants who are seeking legal protection in the United States. The constitutional power grab by the president must not go unnoticed. Such executive overreaches have been seen under both Democrat and Republican presidents and should be limited by congressional authority. Possibly moving the authority of immigration policy away from the presidency will offer more immigrants a fair shake at immigrating to the United States.