Human Rights First: President Can’t Unilaterally Suspend Immigration

Washington, D.C. – In response to President Trump’s tweet in which he said he would suspend immigration to the United States, Human Rights First issued the following statement:

“The White House is apparently planning to use the pandemic to block even more immigrants from the country and execute its long-standing anti-immigrant agenda. There are more coronavirus infections in the United States right now than in any other country in the world, at a time when immigration to this country is functionally frozen and the Trump administration is already turning refugees away at the borders with no form of due process.

“The Trump administration should instead focus on a fact-based approach to controlling the COVID-19 epidemic. This move is a blatant attempt to distract public attention from the very real threats of the health crisis, and to try to paint immigrants as the threat – yet again. Scapegoating immigrants and refugees is not leadership.

“The Trump administration has already used the pandemic to suspend the processing of asylum cases at the border, violating U.S. laws and treaties. The United States offers asylum to refugees because we aspire to be the land of the free, and we are committed to protecting refugees and asylum-seekers by treaty. These obligations and traditions of protection are compatible with public health. The president’s fear-mongering is not.”


Published on April 21, 2020


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