American Immigration Lawyers Association: Talking Points about Tweet

Below are excerpts from a publication released yesterday by the American Immigration Lawyers Association in response to Trump’s “tweet” about limiting “immigration into the US.” All bullet points below are authored by AILA, although edited down to the most important points for my firm’s clients.

From AILA:

  • Unfortunately, this announcement is not a surprise. In the face of growing questions and criticism about his handling of the COVID19 crisis, it was only a matter of time before President Trump resorted to distraction, blame, and fearmongering.
  • There are no details and no language because this isn’t a policy, it is a political strategy. If or when the Administration turns this into a policy, it would be nothing short of a disaster. It would divert attention from the crisis at hand and would be a waste of precious time and resources that should be focused on the health and safety of the American people.
  • During this crisis we have seen first-hand the importance of the agriculture workers who put food on our table, healthcare workers who care for the sick, scientists and researchers searching for a cure, and the factory workers and truck drivers providing critical supplies. Regardless of where we were born, we all have an important role to play in building a better future.
  • Now is the time for us to stand shoulder to shoulder and work toward the day that this crisis is behind us. Isolation won’t make America stronger; fear and division can’t take the place of unity and determination.”
  • To restore the health of the country, both physically and economically, we need to keep our focus on moving forward together. Trump’s tweet, if policy, would do nothing to keep us safe from the virus and would be catastrophic for our economy.
  • The President of the United States has a lot of authority over immigration and we have seen that power used by the Trump administration to cause human suffering and economic pain. But, the power of the President is not unlimited and if the administration were to attempt a power grab of this magnitude it would be far beyond anything that has ever been attempted or contemplated in our lifetime.
  • We have seen the human and economic pain caused by the President’s previous efforts to assert his power over immigration. Now is not the time for another battle over executive overreach. If this were actually turned into a policy, the administration will have pushed past the brink of what the Constitution allows.
  • The President is playing fast and loose with his executive authority. We’ll wait to see what the Order says, but it’s more likely his tweet was a campaign message and in the form of a questionable exercise of executive authority.
  • Since the outbreak began, we have seen a renewed sense of interdependence and mutual care rise from all corners of our nation. We have learned the key role that U.S.- and foreign-born essential workers play to keep our society moving and our families safe.
  • America is facing a public health crisis unlike any we’ve faced in our lifetimes. We desperately need a more robust public health response so that we can get our society and economy back on track. This is a distraction from that priority. It’s all of us against the Coronavirus and people across America must stand together and resist extreme policies and politicians that seek to separate us in a moment of national crisis. Despite how uncertain this moment feels, America is at her best when we band together and take care of one another.
  • This is a sign of what is to come in the months ahead. Americans are tired of polarization and division and should not allow politicians to sow fear and mistrust. We must stand together and defend our country against this virus.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 20042109.