Sorry, the Land of the Free is closed. No more immigrant visas.

Sorry, the Land of the Free is closed: No more immigrant visas

Stephen Miller speaking at the White House

Screenshot / YouTube

As of Monday, Donald Trump has banned all immigrants seeking green cards from entering the United States of America. The White House published the “Proclamation against Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak.” Earlier this year, in April, the President announced a “temporary” ban on the issuance of immigrant visas. This is an extension of that order.

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

At no other time in American history — including during the Spanish Flu, the Great Depression, and both World Wars — has the United States banned nearly all immigrants. This latest version restricts those seeking to settle,  rejoin family, or merely those coming in on temporary work visas

States are reopening — yet immigration is the big risk?

Youtube / Screenshot

The official reason for the policy is to prevent the spread of the coronavirus even though there is no country on Earth with a worse outbreak of COVID-19 than the United States. The real risk of contagion would be borne by any immigrant choosing to enter the United States. The government largely ignored the risk of spread as states surged ahead with reopening against the advice of health experts.

30 states have already reported a subsequent spike in cases of COVID-19. Now that immigration law is in question, the Trump administration is suddenly very concerned.

The other justification for the policy is to protect Americans from wage competition. The reality may be much more chilling: critics see this as a dangerous power grab from the executive powers.

So much for Congress holding the reins?

The Senate, empty

Wikimedia

The “temporary” ban that was announced as lasting for 60 days has already been extended. According to Stephen Miller, the President’s senior immigration advisor: “the most important thing is to turn off the faucet of new immigrant labor.” On previous occasions, Miller has said that the strategy is part of a longer-term vision to curb immigration.

Miller has tried to conceal government data that refugees contributed $63 billion more in revenue over the last ten years than they cost.

What does the new policy mean: No reuniting with relatives trapped abroad

A map of the world

Unsplash/Andrew Stutesman

American citizens are effectively cut off from their families In other countries. Many have been waiting for years to be together again.

Spouses and children under 21 are exempt, but parents, siblings, and any other family will not be able to reunite with their American citizen relatives.

What does the new policy mean: No asylum seekers

Children sleeping inside a cage

Screenshot / YouTube

Refugees fleeing war or persecution, women escaping gender-based discrimination, and even unaccompanied minors trying to seek safety from violence or abuse — will all be prohibited from entering the “Land of the Free.”

The order violates both federal and international law.

What does the new policy mean: Long-term damage to public health and the tech sector

A photograph of 2 health care professionals in masks, working over a patient.

Canva

Trump has effectively banned scientists and future medical professionals from entering the country. Studies have shown that immigrants actually contribute far more through medical care and innovation than they take.

What does the new policy mean: A less productive economy

Female factory worker in a hard hat

Canva

Instead of helping American workers, banning immigration is predicted to damage the economy. History has shown that the mass barring of immigrants can actually result in decreased wages for American employees, and reduce innovation.

What does the new policy mean: An indiscriminate ban on all immigrants

An image of a glitter ball made up of television screens.

Canva

The categorical ban includes all applicants for visas — even those who pose zero threat to public health or the economy.

What does the new policy mean: An alarming seizing of power

President Trump standing behind a podium

Flickr / The White House

This latest policy represents a dangerous power grab by the President. Trump now exercising  unchecked power to ban any foreigners he claims “detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

Yet, the President does not have the power to adopt “rules of conduct governing future actions by private persons.” The Constitution does not allow this. Only Congress may exercise this power.

According to Justice Elena Kagan, Congress does not give the President “unguided” and “unchecked” authority to determine the scope of a law. Trump is using Section 1182 to impose a vast ban on immigration to millions of people, and he has the power to impose criminal penalties on those who violate this ban.

There is still time

Flatlay photo of numerous clocks

Canva

The President’s immigration and visa bans are setting a dangerous precedent for the future. Presidential power needs to be checked by the people, or we will effectively live in a dictatorship. Congress must repeal or restrict Section 1182.

There is still time to make America the land of the Free again.

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