Trump signs executive order to temporarily suspend immigration into the US

President Trump to sign executive order to 'temporarily suspend immigration' due to coronavirus pandemic

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said that he signed an executive order Wednesday temporarily suspending immigration into the US.

The order will temporarily halt the issuance of certain green cards as he uses the coronavirus pandemic to push long-stalled immigration measures during an election year.

While Trump says the move is designed to preserve jobs for American workers in an economy ravaged by the coronavirus, it is widely viewed by partisans on both sides of the immigration battle as driven more by politics than policy.

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Trump said he would be placing a 60-day pause on the issuance of green cards in an effort to limit competition for jobs in a U.S. economy wrecked by the coronavirus. The order would include “certain exemptions,” he said, but he declined to outlined them.

“By pausing immigration we’ll help put unemployed Americans first in line for jobs as America reopens, so important,” Trump said at the White House. “It would be wrong and unjust for Americans laid off by the virus to be replaced with new immigrant labor flown in from abroad.”

Monday evening, Trump tweeted that would be signing an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States.

Trump has taken credit for his restrictions on travel to the U.S. from China and hard-hit European countries, arguing it contributed to slowing the spread of the virus in the U.S. But he has yet to extend those restrictions to other nations now experiencing virus outbreaks.

Due to the pandemic, almost all visa processing by the State Department, including immigrant visas, has been suspended for weeks.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.