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How Trump plans to limit U.S. immigration

In his daily White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing, President Trump discussed his new push to limit U.S. immigration via a forthcoming executive order. Yamiche Alcindor joins Judy Woodruff to discuss the details of the expected 60-day partial suspension, why some critics are arguing it’s “a step too far” and how legal challenges to the order might ensue.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The president stepped up to the White House podium again this evening to discuss the latest on a number of fronts.

    Our Yamiche Alcindor is here to bring us up to speed.

    So, Yamiche, the president has made some news with regard to immigration.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    That's right, Judy.

    The president just announced at the White House that he's going to be planning to sign an executive order that would suspend immigration across the United States, with some exceptions, for 60 days. Now, he says that the executive order is still being written as of right now, but he expects to sign that as early as tomorrow.

    He said part of this is going to be halting green cards and people who are trying to come to the United States and immigrate to the United States permanently. He said people that are entering on a temporary basis won't be included in this suspension.

    It's important to note that I have been talking to the White House all day, and they say that part of this means that farmworkers and potentially health care workers won't be included in this immigration suspension.

    However, critics of the president say that this is really him scapegoating Americans. They also say that this is the president really making it seem as though immigrants are the problem, when, really, coronavirus, the virus itself, and testing is really the issue here.

    The president, though, said that he feels like he has to do this because he wants to protect American workers from getting jobs that they are laid off. And also he said that health care, the people that are coming into hospitals, those need to be focused on helping Americans.

    But, again, critics of the president, including some Republicans, say that this is the wrong move.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And, Yamiche, it's an executive order, as you said. So, does that mean there's no recourse on the part of anybody who disagrees with the president, whether it's Democrats in Congress, governors, or someone else?

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Well, much like many of the things that the president has done both during the coronavirus outbreak, as well as prior to this outbreak, this executive order will be still subject to legal challenges.

    So critics of the president will likely be taking him to court. This could end up as far as even in the Supreme Court. We have seen the president be taken to court on things like the travel ban. That was ultimately upheld, the change.

    The president, though, has halted a lot of immigration already. So there are supporters of the president who say, well, right now, if you're caught trying to get into the United States from Mexico and Canada and other countries, you're already turned away.

    So there are some people who say this is really the president just cementing what is already happening in the United States. But there are others who say this is a step forward, a step too far, and that this is, of course, putting into place a 60-day suspension, so this isn't just a small thing. They say this is a bigger step to that.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Some are saying what he's doing is unprecedented.

    Yamiche Alcindor following it all at the White House.

    Yamiche, thank you.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Thanks so much.

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