Donald Trump has signed a decree temporarily suspending the issuance of “green cards” in order, he says, to defend American employees amid the crisis caused by the new coronavirus, while demonstrations demanding the reopening of the US economy continue in the United States.
Elected in 2016 with the promise of building a wall between his country and Mexico, Donald Trump has made immigration a key topic of his presidential campaign and the campaign for his re-election in the November 3 presidential election.
“To protect our wonderful American workers, I have just signed a decree temporarily suspending immigration to the United States,” he told a daily news conference on Wednesday.
This suspension – with an initial duration of 60 days – aims to make unemployed Americans “the first to be served in terms of jobs, as our economy reopens,” he added. it is also about “preserving our healthcare resources for American patients.”
Contrary to what the White House tenant initially suggested, the suspension does not apply to temporary work visas – only to green cards that offer permanent resident status.
A representative of the Department of Homeland Security said on condition of anonymity for Reuters that the decree does not target applicants who are already in the United States and who are trying to “adjust” their status.
Trump announced that the measure could be extended by 60 days or more and that he was considering another immigration decree.
A source familiar with the White House debates said Trump and his advisers discussed the issue over the weekend and that the initiative targets his electoral base.
“He always wanted to do it,” the source was quoted as saying. “But now, with this pandemic, he can do it.”
More than 22 million Americans have lost their jobs since the new coronavirus crisis suddenly paralyzed the US economy.
With more than 46,000 dead, the United States has the highest toll in the world. The number of 826,000 cases of COVID-19.
And hospitals in some particularly affected regions are struggling to respond to the influx of patients, as the country recorded one of the highest daily tolls on Tuesday – with more than 2,700 dead.
Donald Trump appreciated, however, last week that the time had come to “restart America,” leaving it to each governor to make that decision, depending on the severity of the epidemic in his state.
Some quickly began to relax social distancing regulations. Florida beaches have been allowed to reopen on Sunday, the governors of Texas and Vermont have cautiously relaunched certain activities on Monday, and Georgia will go even further starting Friday.
Hairdressers, beauty and tattoo parlors, bowling alleys, and other small businesses are reopening, even though this southern state does not meet the recommendations of the White House, which expects a 14-day decrease in the number of infections before the measures are relaxed.
Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has advised employees to keep a safe distance, but that seems difficult to follow in some of these professions.
In the states that are still in isolation, the Americans have been multiplying for several days the demonstrations demanding the relaunch of the economy.
“We need jobs. People can’t pay their rent, they can’t buy food, “Jason Roberge, who came to protest in Richmond, Virginia’s capital, told AFP on Wednesday.
“Freedom, rather than fear!” Could be read on a banner waved by a man, while motorists waving American flags, in the name of Donald Trump, honked.
To support small businesses in difficulty and guarantee their jobs, Congress is to approve on Thursday a new aid plan worth nearly $ 500 billion, which will finance hospitals and strengthen screening capacity, a factor considered crucial by the power to relaunch economic activity.
Against states preparing for a “reopening,” the governor of New York – the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States – issued a resounding warning – “we can’t be stupid!”
“I understand the pressure” that governors may feel to relax the rules, said Democrat Andrew Cuomo, flatly rejecting the argument that economic paralysis and isolation are worse than the risk of the epidemic spreading.
“Yes, it’s about your life (…). you can do whatever you want. only you are responsible, now, for my life “, Cuomo underlined.
“It’s not just about you,” he insisted.