Immigrant groups and civil rights groups are slamming the Trump administration’s order further restricting legal immigration as yet another blatantly xenophobic attack made under the guise of the pandemic response (on which front the administration has miserably failed). “This ban, which has few exceptions, will harm employers, families, universities, hospitals, communities, and delay America’s economic recovery,” the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) said in a statement received by Daily Kos.
“Let’s be clear,” Families Belong Together co-director Paola Luisi said. “This executive order is about race, racism and the scapegoating of immigrants in order to throw red meat to Trump’s base.” Just look at who welcomed the order with open arms: The Washington Post reports that the leader of anti-immigrant hate group Center for Immigration Studies referred to it as “a victory for the immigration hawks within in the White House.”
Another Miller-led order made under the guise of the pandemic response has been the swift deportations of children who have arrived to the U.S. alone in search of refuge. While CBS News reported that the administration has inexplicably declined to release data for May, the outlet obtained unpublished government information saying that only 39 of the 1,001 children detained by U.S. border officials were allowed to keep pursuing asylum claims.
“This is not a COVID-19 response or an economic response,” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said about the latest restrictions in a statement received by Daily Kos. “It’s the exploitation of a pandemic to institute divisive policies and reshape immigration law, while superseding Congress.”
“For months, public health experts have made common-sense recommendations to curb the spread of COVID-19,” the ACLU continued. “Instead, while ignoring these recommendations, the Trump administration has banned asylum seekers at the border, green card applicants, foreign students, and now even more immigrants, who are instrumental to our nation’s economic recovery. Congress should immediately investigate the true purpose—and ramifications—of these Stephen Miller bans.”
Restrictions have been in the works under Miller’s watch for some time, but its no coincidence they’ve also come as Trump has had a pretty shitty few days and needs more of his base’s adoration with Election Day in just a few months’ time. The administration had been fully expecting to win at the Supreme Court when it came to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) case, with federal immigration officials setting their sights on some young immigrants even before any decision was in. Instead, Trump lost.
Daily Kos’ Laura Clawson wrote earlier Tuesday that Trump is also visiting a portion of his damned border fencing in Arizona that Mexico was supposed to pay for. Meanwhile, Arizona’s COVID-19 rate is “skyrocketing,” she wrote. “[T]o make matters worse, the state has testing backlogs. That’s the real backdrop for Trump’s visit, as much as he might wish the backdrop would be a heroic image of himself against his racism wall."
“Once again, President Trump and Stephen Miller are scapegoating immigrants and refugees to distract from the administration’s failures to put forward a meaningful response to the coronavirus pandemic,” Immigration Hub Director of Federal Advocacy Kerri Talbot said in a statement received by Daily Kos. “Today’s order and the administration’s recent actions on asylum have nothing to do with combatting the virus or providing any relief for struggling families. This proclamation is just more political fodder rooted in racism and white supremacy for Trump’s base.”