In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on April 22, effective for 60 days, that curtailed immigration to the United States. According to an April 28 poll conducted by the Washington Post and the University of Maryland, 65 percent of Americans surveyed said they approved of the president’s partial ban on immigration while 34 percent were opposed.

Ali Noorani, the Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum, said that he was not surprised to see approval of the temporary order due to people’s uncertainty and fear about the spread of COVID-19.

“It makes sense to a certain degree, I mean people are scared,” Noorani said. “They’re scared for their economic health, they’re scared for their personal health, and more than anything they’re worried about what is COVID-19 going to mean for their children”

Noorani’s broader concerns are over attempts to link immigration with the virus, and the potential for the Trump administration to manipulate fears of the virus to demonize immigration.

Noorani is executive director of the National Immigration Forum. His latest book is “There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communities Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge of American Immigration”