US immigration and Trump’s impeachment acquittal
US IMMIGRATION NOTES - Atty. Marco F.G. Tomakin (The Freeman) - February 9, 2020 - 12:00am

As you may have already known, President Donald Trump was acquitted in the Senate on two articles of impeachment brought by the House of Representatives over his actions in Ukraine. The acquittal, an anticipated outcome in a Republican-majority Senate, has profound consequences in the legal, economic, political, cultural, and social aspects of American life. Thus, this 2020 election promises to be the most consequential political exercise in recent history. It is why the Democrats are doing everything they can to unseat Trump, retain its majority in the House of Representatives and take over the Senate.

So what does this impeachment acquittal mean specifically for immigrants in the US? First of all, this administration, through unilateral executive orders, has reshaped the immigration policies in ways that critics characterize as racist, nativist, anti-poor and anti-immigrant in general. With his exoneration, Trump is emboldened to implement his policies regardless of how much the Democrats protest. Furthermore, he isn’t alone. More often than not, in almost every presidential fiat that concerns immigration --from the travel ban, border wall, placing refugee limits, requiring health insurance for new immigrants, public chargeability, DACA-- Trump has the backing of a conservative majority US Supreme Court to uphold these controversial policies. And I don’t see any backtracking by this administration over these kinds of immigration proposals. So, for all those who would like to come to the USA, either through an immigrant or non-immigrant visas, expect more stringent and stricter rules as long as Trump is president while a divided Congress abdicates its constitutional role of lawmaking.

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As of this writing, there are now more than 700 deaths and 31,000 individuals affected by the novel coronavirus. The World Health Organization has already declared the outbreak as a global health emergency and with its rising trend of deaths and new cases. Experts say that there is a strong likelihood that it will be declared a global pandemic. The rest of the world has now seen and felt the negative consequences of this outbreak and with no certainty as to how this would end.

I wonder what scenario would we have now if that Chinese doctor who first observed the “SARS-like virus” spreading in Wuhan and warned his fellow doctors about it, had not been threatened and harassed by Chinese police accusing him for spreading false rumors? How many lives would have been saved if his clinical observation was acted upon? The irony of it all is that this doctor died of the coronavirus, the very scourge that he himself sought to warn the world against.

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