WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and its Chapter Immigration Work Group oppose President Trump’s executive order to ban immigration for 60 days for individuals seeking permanent residence in the United States.
The administration’s rationale that the ban will protect jobs for U.S. citizens and help stem the spread of coronavirus reflects the same faulty logic and xenophobia that underlies the anti-immigration and anti-immigrant policies it has advanced since 2016.
There is no legitimate public policy reason to restrict people seeking green cards from immigrating to the US, now or in the future. Indeed, immigrants have been essential in the success of our nation’s economy and are not a threat to the job opportunities for U.S. citizens. Immigrants and refugees are entrepreneurs, job creators, taxpayers and consumers and are front lines workers in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The executive order provides a variety of complex exemptions that will be time-consuming and difficult to administer. In this time of limited federal resources and demands on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, staff should be directed to address the pandemic and not this unnecessary and harmful order.
In addition, the order can be renewed indefinitely by the President based solely on his prerogative. And this policy will most certainly result in family separation.
We call upon President Trump to withdraw this highly problematic order and to focus our energy as a nation on addressing the current health crisis harming so many families and communities.
Banning immigration is not a strategy for economic recovery. We also call upon the Administration and Congress to reform our current, and deeply flawed, immigration policies. Millions of immigrants are of working age, with extensive education, are crucial in driving the innovations that the nation will need in the nation’s post-COVID future.