Swiss cheese-holed farce of an "immigration ban" will do more harm than good
President Donald Trump unleashed his "April surprise" on Monday night, sending shock waves from the Beltway Swamp to Silicon Valley with a long-overdue announcement: "In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens," he declared, "I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!"
The usual suspects inveighed against the still-unseen proposal early Tuesday morning. My inbox was flooded with twitching and moaning from Americans for Prosperity, the Koch Foundation-funded outfit, which called a freeze the "wrong approach" and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which ranted (as usual) about "white nationalists" and "racism." The infuriated Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned the "irrational and insidious" plan (that no one had yet seen) and called for "people of all decency" to "denounce this xenophobic agenda." Lawsuits are already being prepared against an executive order that hasn't been written or signed.
For nonhysterical observers of the Trump administration, however, the outcome was perfectly obvious: initial excitement followed by abject letdown as actual details have trickled out over the last 24 hours.
Do not forget: 22 million American workers across the wage scale are out of work as a result of pandemic-induced lockdowns and layoffs. Dire straits demand extreme measures. The well-being of our native workforce and the millions of families dependent upon them must be Washington's top priority, not big business, big agriculture, Silicon Valley, academia or foreign countries clamoring to send their students and workers here to replace ours.
Despite White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany crediting Trump on Tuesday morning for understanding that "(d)ecades of record immigration have produced lower wages and higher unemployment for our citizens," at his Tuesday evening press conference, Trump revealed that the prematurely heralded and scorned immigration suspension will last a mere 60 days and will exempt temporary foreign visa holders.
Head. Bang. Desk. This is a cynical betrayal of the burgeoning "America First" movement. It's all moratorium hat and no cattle:
--All new green card applications and routine visa processing were already suspended on March 20.
--Refugee resettlement was already suspended the same week and is scheduled to be frozen until at least May 15 (although more than 1,000 Afghan refugees were flown in over the past month while the rest of us have been ordered shut in our own homes).
--Foreign travelers from China and Europe, plus Canada and Mexico, were already barred from entering (though thousands of H-2A and H-2B agricultural and seasonal workers got in and some 35,000 more expect a green light despite virus outbreaks at Chinese-owned meat plants packed with foreign laborers).
--The annual H-1B lottery for Chinese and Indian tech workers was completed last month and a total of 475,000 H-1Bs are safe while untold thousands of American STEM students, graduates and workers lost their livelihoods.