President Donald Trump’s former Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared to take some credit for the president’s plan to suspend immigration to the U.S. in response to the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, with the former AG touting how he had suggested such a plan last week.
“Last week, I announced on@TuckerCarlson’s show my plan to suspend immigration until Americans are back to work. It’s great news that @RealDonaldTrump is putting this into action!” Sessions said in a tweet.
Earlier, Trump had announced on Twitter that he planned to sign an executive order aimed at curbing immigration as a way to ensure that Americans are prioritized as the U.S. economy recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“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!” Trump said.
The president’s pledge came just days after Sessions, who is now running for Senate, had urged the government to impose a strict moratorium on employment-based immigration until America’s unemployment rate recovers from the crisis.
Last week, Sessions joined Tucker Carlson Tonight to pitch his proposal to “immediately halt immigration,” which he said was aimed at ensuring unemployed Americans get jobs first when the economy starts to recover from the outbreak.
“We have about 1.4 million people that come to this country every year to take jobs,” Sessions said.
“We just announced today 5 million more people on the unemployment roll…22 million now [since mid-March]. There is no doubt it is in the interest of the United States of America to make sure that we get every one of those unemployed Americans the jobs first,” the former attorney general said.
“It’s psychologically devastating to a person not to have work,” Sessions said, defending the plan. “It undermines their well-being and family. But in addition, we have to help them financially if they’re unemployed, whether it’s Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, unemployment insurance.”
“So, why bring in foreign workers to take those jobs when we should do everything possible…to get American workers that are unemployed in those jobs?” Sessions questioned.
The former AG told Carlson that he was confident that most Americans agreed with his logic.
“I think the polls, almost 90 percent [say] that if there’s a choice between who should get a job, the American should get the job over a foreigner. Give me a break. How simple is that?” Sessions said. “Who do we owe our responsibility to as government and public officials? It’s to the American people first.”
It is unclear whether Trump was aware of or inspired by Sessions’ proposal. However, the president is known to be an avid Fox News viewer.
If Trump was motivated by Sessions’ pitch, it is unlikely the president would admit it given his tumultuous relationship with the former AG.
Earlier this month, Trump’s campaign team sent a letter to Sessions demanding that the former attorney general stop invoking the president’s name in his own Senate campaign.
“We only assume your campaign is doing this to confuse President Trump’s loyal supporters in Alabama into believing the President supports your candidacy in the upcoming primary run-off election,” the letter, which was penned by Michael Glassner, the chief operating officer of the Trump campaign, and obtained by The New York Times, said.
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Glassner wrote.
Indeed, Trump has long been at odds with his former attorney general, with the president repeatedly lashing out at Sessions over his recusal from the Trump-Russia investigation in early 2017.
Newsweek has contacted the White House, Trump’s campaign team and Sessions for comment.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19
CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
- A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
- Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html)
- Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
- Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.
World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
- Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
- Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.
- Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
- Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
- If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
- Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
- Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.
Mask and glove usage
- Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
- Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
- Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
- Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
- Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
- Do not reuse single-use masks.
- Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
- The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.