Trump’s Latest Attempt To Limit Immigration Isn’t Really About The Coronavirus

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Not many public health experts have been calling for new limits on immigration as a major part of the U.S. strategy to fight the spread of the coronavirus. In fact, some health experts have explicitly said the U.S. should not take such steps. So why is President Trump opting for new immigration restrictions? Probably because Trump is always looking to limit immigration — no matter the context.

Trump has suggested that his proposal, which is expected to halt the issuance of new green cards for at least the next 60 days, is justified on both national security grounds — where the rationale is that it will help stop the spread the virus — and economic ones — where the rationale is that in the middle of a likely recession, immigrants should not take away jobs from people already in the country. It’s probably too soon to evaluate this new policy by those rationales, as the executive order describing the policy has not yet been released. Furthermore, it’s likely that its implementation will be complicated, and the courts could block the policy itself before it goes into effect.

But there are reasons to be skeptical of Trump’s stated rationales. The president nearly always cites economic and security reasons for adopting various anti-immigration stances — and experts nearly always say that those rationales don’t stand up to scrutiny.

Instead, the simplest explanation for Trump’s decision to halt some legal immigration to the U.S. is that it aligns with his long-held ideological beliefs, and the electoral strategies and policy choices that spring out of those. Since well before the coronavirus outbreak, Trump has practiced an identity politics where he often uses people of color and immigrants as foils. Since well before the coronavirus, one of Trump’s core policy ideas was limiting immigration however possible. And Trump has campaigned on being tough on

Originally posted here:
By: Perry Bacon Jr.
Title: Trump’s Latest Attempt To Limit Immigration Isn’t Really About The Coronavirus
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Published Date: Wed, 22 Apr 2020 16:05:47 +0000