ILRC: Once Again, Trump Uses the COVID-19 Pandemic as Pretext to Carry Out His Racist Agenda

For Immediate Release: April 22, 2020
Contact: Arianna Rosales, 

ILRC: Once Again, Trump Uses the COVID-19 Pandemic as Pretext to Carry Out His Racist Agenda
Trump Demonizes Immigrants to Cover-Up His Failed Pandemic Response

Today, Donald Trump signed an Executive Order to further limit immigration to the United States. Among its disgraceful policy pronouncements, the order halts spouses and children of legal permanent residents from entering the country and effectively terminates the diversity lottery, which will disproportionately affect Black immigrants. This move follows the administration’s border shut down, which has resulted in asylum seekers and unaccompanied children being silently turned away. 

The order can be extended or modified within the 60 day time period, similar to the first Muslim Ban Executive Order that Trump signed in January 2017. 

Said Sameera Hafiz, Policy Director at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center:

“Instead of prioritizing the needs of the nation in the face of a global crisis, the Trump administration has once again weaponized the pandemic to further its racist and anti-immigrant agenda. In this moment, when thoughtful and strategic leadership is needed more than ever, Trump has put his own interest—as well as those of his racist and wealthy cronies—above human life.

“The administration has leveraged this moment, when our global community is struggling to overcome this pandemic, to retain its single-minded focus on tearing apart Black communities and immigrant families. As with the Muslim Ban, which also began as a temporary policy change, the administration has proven countless times that it will pursue its racist agenda without regard to what our communities want and need.  

“In sharp contrast to Trump and his enablers, our communities show up for each other, stand together, and are resilient even through these most difficult times. Together, we will continue to fight for a country that uplifts immigration and family unity; does not cage people, especially during a global health crisis; and values individuals for more than the color of their skin or the extent of their bank accounts.” 


The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national nonprofit that works with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, and policy makers to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through community education programs, legal training & technical assistance, and policy development & advocacy, the ILRC works to protect and defend the fundamental rights of immigrant families and communities.