Trump is trying to reopen the economy while thwarting immigration

For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
The administration’s anti-immigrant agenda has never been more clear

Washington, DC — Today, the Trump administration is expected to announce an executive order impacting immigration to the United States. In anticipation of this announcement Silky Shah, executive director of Detention Watch Network issued the following statement:

“Trump has consistently underestimated the impact of the coronavirus causing thousands of preventable deaths. Instead of leading the country he has spread deadly lies, left states to fend for themselves to find life-saving health care resources, and kept tens of thousands of people behind bars in immigration detention centers where infectious outbreaks are known to thrive.

Trump is not only ineffective, he is dangerous. And now with his reported executive order, he will further inflame growing xenophobia in the U.S. Whether halting the issuance of green cards or banning immigration outright, this is fearmongering and racial scapegoating. Trump is trying to reopen the economy while thwarting immigration. His anti-immigrant agenda has never been more clear.

This is a global pandemic that impacts people everywhere and demonstrates our interconnectedness, yet Trump is trying to divide us. We vehemently denounce any measure taken by the Trump administration that creates further division in the country and fuels his anti-immigrant agenda.”

Fast Facts: The Trump Administration’s Treatment of Immigrants Amidst COVID-19:

  • Since the crisis began, advocates and public health experts have called for the release of all people in detention as a matter of public safety, yet ICE and the Trump administration have refused. 
  • ICE’s shameful record of medical negligence, poor sanitation, and demonstrated inability to respond to past infectious disease outbreaks is detailed in a Detention Watch Network report, Courting Catastrophe: How ICE is Gambling with Immigrant Lives Amid a Global Pandemic. 
  • ICE is reporting 220 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in detention centers, and the number is growing rapidly. Freedom for Immigrants is reporting that cases of COVID-19 are in 30 facilities across the country.


Detention Watch Network (DWN) is a national coalition of organizations and individuals building power through collective advocacy, grassroots organizing, and strategic communications to abolish immigration detention in the United States. Founded in 1997 by immigrant rights groups, DWN brings together advocates to unify strategy and build partnerships on a local and national level. Visit Follow @DetentionWatch.