In a Tweet on the evening of Monday, April 20, President Donald Trump announced his plan to sign an executive order to suspend immigration to the United States. The announcement comes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has more than 775,000 confirmed cases in the U.S.
“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,” Trump wrote in his Tweet (click here to view).
It is unclear what kinds of limitations the order, which could be signed as early as April 21, could put into place, nor what exceptions it may include. White House officials claimed they did not think the order would remain in place long-term but did not specify how long the restrictions would last.
Title 42 of the U.S. Code grants the president the power to halt immigration due to health reasons, meaning Trump has the authority to make this unprecedented decision, which could affect thousands of visa holders and green card recipients who are currently waiting to enter the country. Many of them have relatives in the United States.
Trump has already put measures into place at the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent potentially infected migrants from entering the U.S., as well as to minimize the number of detainees held in immigration jails and holding facilities, according to U.S. border authorities.
[Information from: “Trump says he will issue order to suspend immigration during coronavirus crisis, closing off the United States to a new extreme” by Nick Miroff, Josh Dawsey and Teo Armus at The Washington Post. Click here to read more.]