April 22, 2020 IN: Immigration, National, Press Room
SEARAC Denounces President Trump’s Efforts to Suspend Immigration
Americans need actual solutions to stop spread of COVID-19, not a political diversion
Washington, DC – President Trump has announced plans to sign an executive order today that, for 60 days, would suspend certain immigration programs. Currently, no definitive information is available regarding the proposed executive order or its potential impact on the 1.4 million Asian individuals waiting to reunite with their families, including over 210,000 immigrants from Vietnam, 9,000 from Cambodia, and 2,000 from Laos.
Quyen Dinh, SEARAC executive director, said:
“Scapegoating immigrants to divert attention away from the public health and economic failures of this Administration does not solve the coronavirus pandemic. We need more testing and health care access for the public, more supplies for our hospitals, more protection for our frontline workers, more support for our small businesses, and more direct help for families and individuals – not more xenophobia. Preventing millions of immigrants from reuniting with their families or entering the United States’ workforce to provide necessary services does not make our country safer. We urge this Administration to cease its attacks on immigrants and instead focus on finding proper public health solutions to stop the spread of this virus.”
The executive order is expected to include exemptions for guest workers, essential workers, and individuals immigrating to the United States through immediate family members. However, US immigration laws define immediate family members only as the spouse, minor child, or parent of US citizens. The majority of the 1.4 million Asian immigrants waiting in the visa backlogs are unmarried adult children, married children, and siblings of US citizens and the spouses and minor children of lawful permanent residents.