A letter signed by some of the Senate’s worst anti-immigrant assholes, including Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Ted Cruz of Texas, is calling on impeached president Donald Trump to temporarily halt new guest worker visas amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, writing, “These suspensions are critical to protecting American workers as our economy gets back on its feet.”
The letter says the 60-day suspensions should, “at a minimum,” include H-2B nonagricultural visas. White House aide and white supremacist Stephen Miller had reportedly been itching for some sort of public health crisis to usher in more of his radical agenda, and this pandemic has given him just that. However, the ask from Cotton and Cruz might hit a little too close to home for Trump: his businesses have been regularly hiring these workers for years.
The New York Times reported in 2015 that Trump has “pursued more than 500 visas for foreign workers at Mar-a-Lago since 2010,” largely bypassing U.S.-born workers who have applied for a number of different specialty jobs at the resort. “Since 2010, nearly 300 United States residents have applied or been referred for jobs as waiters, waitresses, cooks and housekeepers there. But according to federal records, only 17 have been hired,” the report continued.
Since becoming president, Trump has only become more shamelessly brazen. In 2018 alone, he requested—and received—nearly 200 visas for his businesses, the vast majority of them the same ones Cotton, Cruz, and their Senate buddies want to temporarily halt. “That number appears to be the highest for the company going back to at least 2008 and likely much earlier, based on public records,” Talking Points Memo reported at the time.
Like Miller, Cotton and Cruz are loving being able to use any old excuse in order to continue walling off America from the world, Cotton having previously defended Trump from his “shithole countries” rant and introduced a “legal” immigration bill that won the support of hate groups because it disproportionately affects immigrants of color, and the latter being a uniquely terrible person attached at the hip to Iowa’s leading white supremacist, Steve King.
“The coronavirus pandemic has wrought terrible damage on our country, and we will likely continue to experience the economic effects of social distancing and shutdown measures for years to come,” they continued in their letter. “As we work toward recovery, we urge you to keep the American worker in mind and limit the importation of unnecessary guest workers while American families and businesses get back on their feet.” Maybe the Trump Organization’s HR department should have been copied on that, as well.