Trump says he will temporarily suspend immigration into US due to coronavirus fears

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President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Monday, April 20, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Donald Trump said late Monday night he will sign an executive order temporarily suspending immigration to the United States as the nation battles the health and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

“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!” he tweeted.

It’s unclear what mechanism he will use to suspend immigration, how long such a suspension could last or what effect this will have on the operation of US border crossings and on those who already hold green cards.

The White House declined to provide further information on the executive order Monday evening.

The tweet comes as the administration seeks to reopen parts of the country from the coronavirus shutdown through a phased approach, but it’s also a continuation of the President’s 2016 campaign promise to slow immigration.

Trump has repeatedly touted his decision to halt travel from China and Europe as a means of blunting the spread of coronavirus in the United States.

The tweet also comes hours after Trump directed Admiral Brett Giroir, the assistant Health and Human Services secretary for health, to provide an update on border wall construction after he briefed reporters on coronavirus testing.

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