Trump to suspend all immigration into US over coronavirus

Trump to suspend all immigration into US over coronavirus
The US has the highest number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the world. Source: AFP
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Daily US Times: President Donald Trump has said he is going to sign an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States.

Mr Trump tweets on Monday saying: “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.”

The president gave no details as to what immigration programs might be affected by the order and White House did not immediately elaborate on Trump’s announcement.

The development is the latest in a string of moves cracking down on immigration as the coronavirus spreads across the United States.

By far, the US has the world’s largest number of deaths, with more than 42,000 deaths and 774,000 infections on Monday.

Trump said in late March that the US would swiftly return any migrants who attempted to cross into the country from Mexico and Canada.

He argued migrants crossing the border threatened to worsen the country’s coronavirus outbreak.

The latest move to block immigrants was “fully in character” for Trump.

How can the proposals be implemented?

As neither Trump nor the White House did not clear who could be affected by Mr Trump’s decision or when it could come into force, the New York Times reports that a formal order temporarily barring the provision of new green cards and work visas could be one way of implementing the measure. The newspaper said citing several people familiar with the plan, the administration would no longer approve any applications from foreigners to live and work in the US for an undetermined period of time.

Last month, the US suspended almost all visa processing, including for immigrants, due to coronavirus pandemic.

The US has already agreed with both Mexico and Canada to extend border restrictions on non-essential travel until at least mid-May.

The US sharply restricted travel from hard-hit European countries and China, though people with temporary work visas, business travelers and students are exempted.

The administration said on Monday that authorities would continue to expel migrants it encounters along the border with Mexico for at least another month.

Emergency powers have been used in recent weeks to expel thousands of undocumented migrants on the US border with Mexico.

Just year, just over one million people were granted lawful permanent resident status in the US last year. The top countries of origin were Mexico, China, India, the Dominican Republic, the Philippines, and Cuba.

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