President Trump’s temporary 60-day immigration ban has raised concerns from Christian activist and faith-based organizations.
As Christian Headlines previously reported, on Monday, President Trump announced a plan to sign a temporary ban on immigration to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
“In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!” the president tweeted.
One top DHS official noted that the order is in response to “22 million unemployed Americans and counting due to COVID-19.”
The new ban, however, has been polarizing to many, including several Christian organizations.
Jenny Yang, vice president of advocacy & policy for the refugee resettlement organization World Relief, said in a statement emailed to The Christian Post that they were “very concerned by the idea of shutting down all legal immigration, particularly now, as the nation is slowly coming out of the COVID-19 shutdown.”
“Immigrants already undergo careful health screenings before being allowed into the U.S. and given that the virus is already spreading widely within the U.S., further restrictions on immigration do nothing to improve the public health situation,” Yang said.
“Instead, they lead to family separation and slamming the door of our nation to the persecuted.”
Another Christian activist group, the Franciscan Action Network denounced the President’s decision as they were “appalled by the latest manifestation of the Trump administration’s xenophobia, making another midnight policy announcement to suspend all immigration into the country,” in a statement posted on their website Tuesday.
It continued, “The administration has used the pandemic as cover for multiple detrimental policy changes: from gutting various environmental regulations and extending the separation of children from parents on the border to defunding the World Health Organization.”
The faith-based charity organization Church World Service also denounced the president’s executive order, calling it xenophobic.
CWS President Rev. John L McCullough said in a statement released Tuesday that he considered the decision part of a “hardline anti-immigrant agenda.”
“To let xenophobia dictate our response to this public health crisis is despicable. Much like with the pandemic, the president ignores the experts and follows the rantings of extremists,” McCullough stated.
“Our economy is made stronger by immigration and our recovery will depend on the growth and revitalization immigrants bring to our communities.”
Despite criticisms of the ban, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) defended the executive order, recalling prior restrictions that impeded immigration efforts.
"It’s the same opposition they had when the president, on January 31, halted flights in and out of China. That decision saved lives in America," Cruz said on Fox & Friends.
"The Democrats make a lot of noise about wanting to do more to stop the spread of coronavirus but when the president stands up and does that, all they can do is attack him."
On Tuesday morning, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany also defended the executive order arguing that "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," she asserted.
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.