The Trump administration has taken more than 400 actions, through rule making, policy and procedure changes, decrees stripping immigration judges of discretion, attorney general decisions, executive orders and presidential proclamations that have fundamentally restricted legal immigration to the U.S. The administration has seized COVID-19 as an opportunity to tighten these restrictions even further, bringing legal immigration to the U.S. through the remainder of 2020 to barely a trickle.
An analysis in Forbes finds that taken together, the changes undertaken since 2017 will result in a 49% reduction in legal immigration to the U.S. by 2020’s end. Not only do these reductions translate into U.S. citizens and permanent residents being separated from their immediate family members, but they also mean that refugees and asylum seekers are not able to find safety in the U.S., and employers cannot access the global talent that they need to stay competitive or to grow.
Additionally, this analysis from the National Foundation for American Policy examines the impact that immigrants have had in the nation’s response to COVID-19. Apart from the critical roles that immigrants play as essential frontline workers in everything from healthcare to the food supply chain, this analysis points out the many companies offering services used as people isolate or work from home, and creating medical treatments or hoped for vaccines, that were immigrant-created or are immigrant-led. These include Zoom and Slack, enhancing work from home productivity, Instacart for grocery delivery, Moderna, working on vaccine development, Gilead, whose remdesivir has been found to help speed recovery of some COVID-19 victims, and the inventor of the N95 mask, among many others.
From the COVID-19 health response, the economic recovery, the family unity and stability, and the humanitarian perspectives, the administration’s attacks on legal immigration are contrary to U.S. interests. Read more details about the cuts to legal immigration and their impact in the Forbes article.