BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said he does not agree with President Donald Trump’s plan to sign an executive order that will temporarily suspend immigration due to the coronavirus pandemic.
President Trump said Monday night on Twitter that “in light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy,” he would be temporarily suspending immigration.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2020
“I am opposed to the decision that the President made. I’m opposed to the order,” said Baker, Massachusetts’ Republican governor, at his Tuesday press briefing.
CBS News reported that the executive action the president takes is likely to take the form of a presidential proclamation, and according to a White House source it would happen in the coming days.
On March 20, the State Department ordered consular offices closed and stopped issuing visas. At the time, the State Department said it was “temporarily suspending routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates,” and embassies and consulates were instructed to “cancel all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments.”
Baker said that one of the reasons Massachusetts became hotspot for coronavirus cases was the Biogen employee conference in Boston.
“That Biogen outbreak – which was kind of the launch, for all intents and purposes, of coronavirus in in eastern Massachusetts – that was two people from Europe,” said Baker.
President Trump’s order to suspend immigration, Baker said, would not have stopped the cluster of cases that originated at the Biogen conference.
“(Suspending immigration) doesn’t make any sense and I don’t think it makes us any safer,” Baker said. “I just pointed out that the first two people who created the biggest part of the eastern Mass. spread of the virus were two folks who were here in a business conference. So, I don’t support it. It doesn’t make us any safer.”