After Governor Charlie Baker announced the closure of Massachusetts schools for the rest of the academic year amid the coronavirus pandemic, he also spoke about a slew of other topics at a Tuesday afternoon press conference — and fielded pointed questions from reporters.
One such question had to do with President Trump’s claim that he will sign an executive order “to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States” because of the coronavirus.
When Baker was asked Tuesday what he thought about the issue, the Republican governor did not mince words.
“I’m opposed to the decision that the president made,” Baker said. “I’m opposed to the order. It doesn’t make any sense and I don’t think it makes us any safer.”
Trump announced his upcoming move in a tweet posted late Monday night. He did not offer any explanation about what such an order might look like, and in the time since his tweet was sent, no further details have emerged from the White House. Much of the country’s immigration system is already effectively shut down due to coronavirus-related closures of government agencies.
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
On Tuesday night, Trump said he will be placing a 60-day pause on the issuance of certain immigration green cards in an effort to limit competition for US jobs. Trump said that the move would not impact those in the country on a temporary basis and would apply only to those looking for green cards in hopes of staying.
Baker has also criticized the federal government in recent weeks for swooping in to take over orders of personal protective equipment the state had procured.
Still, it was an unusually sharp rebuke from the governor, known for his diplomatic demeanor. Baker has also deflected other questions about Trump recently.
“We’re a lot more interested in the work than in the noise,” Baker said when asked at an April 14 press conference about Trump’s comment that some governors were staging a “mutiny” by forming pacts to coordinate reopening.
Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.