The job of getting Donald Trump re-elected in November became harder this week after the president issued an order restricting engineers, computer programmers and high-skilled workers from other countries from entering the U.S. to work in a move that infuriated Indian Americans.
According to Politico, the president's campaign staff has been courting the Indian American voting bloc that has a history of turning out in big numbers on election day and one the Trump campaign had been counting on.
With the president's poll numbers in spiraling downward -- and pundits suggesting the Republican president is looking at an Electoral College wipeout in November -- Trump campaign officials, who had been counting on Indian American support, fear the president once again undercut their work.
On Monday the president "temporarily suspended new work visas and barred hundreds of thousands of foreigners from seeking employment in the United States, part of a broad effort to limit the entry of immigrants into the country," reported the New York Times and Politico now points out that decision is receiving pushback in the U.S. that could hamper his campaigns re-election efforts.
"The incident is far from the only time the Trump campaign’s outreach and White House’s policies have clashed. Trump has advanced policies, gone off-script in interviews or lashed out on Twitter in ways that contradict his own campaign’s attempts to slice into the Democrats’ advantages with African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanics," Politico's Anita Kumar wrote.
According to GOP consultant Rob Stutzman, the president and his staff are not on the same page.
“The campaign may have strategies, but Trump doesn’t have much of a strategy ever except to cater to his base," he explained. "And there’s no discipline to his strategy. I think he’s incapable of adhering to a strategy. That’s why he inflicts so much damage on himself.”
"The Trump campaign had hoped to win over more Indian American voters in 2020, touting Trump’s economic agenda, especially the 2017 tax cuts, as well as the president’s outreach to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi," Politico's Kumar wrote. "But after the pandemic hit, the U.S. experienced its highest levels of unemployment since the Great Depression. In response, Trump has pursued a series of measures to restrict foreign workers from entering the country."
According to Aman Kapoor, president of Immigration Voice, a group that works with Indian foreign workers, "Obviously they tried to court Indian Americans to this president for the upcoming election, but you see the thing is we have always known where Trump stood as far as this issue was concerned.”
The report notes that Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows both opposed the president's sweeping order that is expected to stay in place until the end of the year -- after the 2020 election.