“In light of the attack on the invisible enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American citizens, I will sign an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration to the United States! Trump tweeted.
In light of the attack on the invisible enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American citizens, I will sign an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration to the United States!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2020
The order would mark an extraordinary use of executive power by Trump, who a few hours earlier had been optimistic about the ability of certain states to start reopening their economies despite the threat of the virus.
The suspension of all immigration would extend the travel restrictions that the Trump administration has already imposed on most countries in Europe, China, Canada, Mexico, Iran and South Korea.
It is not known if Trump informed other countries of the decision before tweeting it, but his past attempts to restrict immigration have led to chaos abroad and at American airports. Trump’s tweet also did not provide details on when or how long the suspension would take effect.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday evening.
Trump has spent much of his presidency lobbying to restrict immigration to the U.S. He has pushed for the construction of a border wall, implemented policies that limit migrants who can claim asylum and supervised the separation of families who enter the country illegally.
The decision to suspend all immigration has also sparked fury from Democrats and immigrant rights groups, some of whom maintain that the President has continued to push controversial parts of his agenda even as the coronavirus pandemic receives most of it. public attention.
Updated at 10:30 p.m.