Posted on April 21, 2020

Trump’s Immigration Moratorium Will Be Great — If It’s Real

Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, April 21, 2020

President Donald Trump tweeted last night he would “temporarily suspend” immigration to the United States.

Rhetorically, this is a victory. Conservatism Inc. mouthpieces are defending it, and they won’t be able to back away from it later. The debate has shifted in our direction.

An immigration pause is popular. Recent polling found about 80 percent of Americans want at least a temporary halt during the virus crisis. Another poll found that almost 90 percent think “the spread of infectious diseases” is a threat, and a big majority think “large numbers of people moving from one country to another” is, too. An immigration pause — certainly while millions of Americans are suddenly out of work — is no more than a moderate idea. A truly nationalist policy would end immigration and encourage foreigners to go home.

But this is just a tweet, not action, and we’ve seen plenty of grandiose Trump tweets. Before the 2018 midterms, the President said birthright citizenship “had to end.” He did nothing about it while he had a Republican congressional majority, and hasn’t used executive power since then. He promised to end birthright citizenship during the 2016 presidential campaign, but if you want to see his platform now you have to use the Wayback Machine. We haven’t seen mass deportations of illegals. Mexico didn’t pay for the wall. Could this immigration suspension be more cheap talk?

There are reasons for both hope and doubt. The good news is that right now, the President is already restricting immigration. The State Department halted visa processing. The Border Patrol is deporting illegals far more quickly than before. The Justice Department has delayed hearings for migrants who were returned to Mexico, where they may be stuck for good. This “suspension” could be another administrative action to keep foreigners out.

However, this plan is full of holes. First, denies entry to most people for just 90 days. Second, the order doesn’t apply to refugees, asylum seekers, or spouses and children of US citizens or permanent residents. Third, and most important, “White House officials are reportedly planning exemptions for temporary guest workers, especially in agriculture and health care.” H1-B visa holders can just show new documentation. This is sickening. A DHS official said the moratorium was needed not just because of coronavirus but because of “22 million unemployed Americans and counting.” If that official were serious, there wouldn’t be loopholes so foreigners can take American jobs.

Twitter leftists are outraged by the President’s announcement. Some argue we need immigrants more than ever.

If the Executive Order really does exempt agricultural and medical workers, it means President Trump has been suckered by their arguments, but he won’t get any credit from leftists. It will be just another example of President Trump stirring up passionate opposition even though he’s not doing anything substantial. Once again, he’s speaking loudly and carrying a small stick.

Even after stores reopen, struggling businesses will almost certainly lay off workers. The Atlantic reports that those who hire new workers “will use this opportunity to replace some of their former workers with cheaper and more contingent labor.” That almost certainly means immigrants, from unskilled workers to H1-B visa holders for Big Tech. The President can’t say this policy is about defending workers and then let employers import cheap labor.

It’s still early days. The White House is apparently still drafting the executive order, and so it needs to hear from patriots, especially the ones who delivered his 2016 election victory. There should be no exemptions. America needs a moratorium — at the very least.