On April 21st, President Trump announced in a press conference a temporary ban on immigration into the United States as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Although this will only apply to those seeking permanent residency (and not those coming temporarily for work or school), it comes as a big shock to many Americans. President Trump’s reasoning behind this suspension is to help assure that the economy can reopen as quickly and effectively as possible, as well as preserve Personal Protective Equipment for American citizens. Although this seems like a smart move for the President to make, there is a large possibility that the motive behind it is unjust.
During Trump’s April 21st press conference, he mentioned that it would be unfortunate for unemployed Americans to be unable to return to their jobs because of immigrants taking them. This is a very exaggerated way to look at the situation. The truth is that very few immigrants take careers from citizens due to the stigma that surrounds being an immigrant in the first place. Upon coming to America, immigrants are often striving for the “American Dream”. They want a proper education, a career, and a good life for their family. The sad truth is that this is very difficult to achieve today. Many immigrants are unemployed or struggle to find work due to a language barrier or lack of education. An extremely small percentage of immigrants “steal jobs” from American citizens, and this is even more unlikely during a pandemic where employees have been laid off for this specific reason.
President Trump also mentioned that the ban will go in effect for 60 days and will then be re-evaluated. The President has also mentioned his strong dislike for immigrants extremely vocally in the past. Could this immigration ban be the start of something larger? It seems as though Trump would take any opportunity to close the U.S. borders to immigrants, whether the reasoning is valid or not. This immigration ban is occurring in a time when Americans are vulnerable. A pandemic is an extremely frightening, uncertain time. As a country, we are looking for a strong leader and a sense of togetherness during this. Because of these factors, many Americans would be less likely to protest or vocalize strong opinions about an immigration ban. Could President Trump possibly be taking advantage of this?