Trump's announces anti-immigration policy amid Coronavirus crisis; safety measures or just politics?

In a tweet, US President Donald Trump announced that he will sign an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration to the USA

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, that has infected 2.5 million people and claimed over 170,000 lives, US President Donald Trump has come up with an unconventional way to tackle the coronavirus crisis: by 'banning immigration'.

In a tweet, President Donald Trump announced that he "will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States" in the "light of attack from Invisible Enemy" and "protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens".

Donald Trump suspends immigration

Donald Trump at UFC event
Reuters/Joshua Roberts

As he provided no further details, it remains unclear that what mechanism would be adopted, who will be affected, for how long will the suspension last or whether he will even be allowed to go forward with the plan.

Last month, to halt the spread of the "invisible enemy", as Trump calls the novel coronavirus, the country suspended almost all visa processing, including for immigrants, BBC reported.

Anti-immigration: safety measure or just politics?

Donald Trump's Tweet

Since almost all visa processing has already been suspended in the United States, critics have argued that the move is to further strengthen Trump's anti-immigration policies, especially as the Presidential election is just six months away.

As all political rallies and campaigns are suspended, such a step could prove to be popular among Trump's chief voter base, as during the 2016 elections, anti-immigration stance, especially against Muslim-majority countries, provided him with huge political dividends.

Also, with the country adding over 1,500 fatalities daily, immigration policy appears to be an interesting debate, to shift focus from the actual issue at hand. President Trump has been widely accused of downplaying the threat of the deadly contagion, all through January and February. He appeared to hit back at state governors, who imposed restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus.

How has novel coronavirus pandemic affected the United States?

The pandemic has left 22 million Americans unemployed after large-scale lockdowns halted the economic activity in the country. Due to economic hardships, numerous Americans have taken to streets to demand the easing of restrictions. The United States is the leading oil producer, and with oil prices having collapsed due to the pandemic, it'll hurt the USA's oil revenue.

USA is also the country with the highest number of virus cases and fatalities. The country has reported 792,938 cases and 42,518 fatalities, as on Tuesday, April 21.

Related topics : Coronavirus