FL. Rep Calls Trump’s Tweet ‘Xenophobic Ploy to Distract’

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By Giselle Balido

April 21, 2020

Using Coronavirus as an excuse, Trump tweeted his intention to sign an Executive Order suspending immigration. Florida congresswomen call his bluff.

Using his favorite mode of communication to address the American people, President Donald Trump announced late Monday night via Twitter that he plans to sign an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration to the United States, ostensibly to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus by those entering the country, and to “protect” American jobs.

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The president’s tweet did not specify when the executive order would be signed, although White House officials said it could be as early as Tuesday. 

At this time, it is not known how this will impact Florida, a state with tens of thousands of seasonal guest farmworkers coming mainly from Mexico and South America to work in the farming industry, the second largest in the state. But according to sources close to the White House, the order will exempt seasonal foreign farmworker visas, and exemptions for all temporary guest workers are also being discussed. It is also not clear if any other exceptions will be included in the order, such as the need for would-be immigrants to test negative for the coronavirus before entering the U.S. 

Due to the global pandemic, the United States already has put in place restrictions on travel from Europe, China and other COVID-19 epicenters, as well as strict controls at its land borders. 

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But Trump, who built his bid for election, and is focusing his campaign for reelection, on stopping immigration and building a wall in the Mexican border, appears to have accomplished his goal, albeit temporarily.

Still, suspending immigration to the United States could severely affect thousands of visa holders and would-be green card recipients, many of them from Latin countries, hoping to enter the country.

On Tuesday morning, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in an official statement:

“President Trump is committed to protecting the health and economic well-being of American citizens as we face unprecedented times. As President Trump has said, ‘Decades of record immigration have produced lower wages and higher unemployment for our citizens, especially for African American and Latino workers ‘ At a time when Americans are looking to get back to work, action is necessary.”

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Later that same day, in response to a request for comment from The Americano, Democratic U.S. Representative from Florida Donna Shalala, used strong words to condemn the executive action:

“President Trump has failed every test of leadership since this national emergency began. Announcing that he is suspending immigration to the United States is a xenophobic ploy to distract the public from his complete mismanagement of this crisis. The American people will not be fooled or forget so easily,” said the Congresswoman. “Instead of resorting to tribalism and scapegoating, President Trump should get to work developing a rational, science-based approach to safely reopen the country and resume public life.”

“America has more COVID-19 cases than anywhere in the world,” Florida Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell told The Americano. “Scapegoating immigrants is a shameful distraction that won’t change that. Instead of late-night tweets, we need POTUS to implement nationwide testing, contact tracing, and help small businesses so people can return to work.”




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