Battered by criticism at home over delayed response to Coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump announced on Monday evening to sign an executive order temporarily suspending all immigration into the United States temporarily, without specifying how long it would be in effect and whom it would affect.
“In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens,” Trump wrote in the tweet, “I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2020
However, it is not clear whether the suspension would impact those with work and other visas. This follows March 19 order to close the Mexican and Canadian borders and banning entry of foreign nationals who had visited China, Iran, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Ireland. It was followed up by another order on March 19, in the form of a Level 4 advisory against any global travel by US citizens.
Democratic Representative Don Beyer of Virginia criticized the move as another failure by Trump. He tweeted, “From the beginning Trump has flailed about seeking someone to blame for his own failure. Obama. Governors. China. Speaker Pelosi. People of Asian descent. Immigration has nearly stopped and the US has far more cases than any other country. This is just xenophobic scapegoating.”
The United States has reported by far the world’s largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases at more than 760,000 and over 41,100 deaths, nearly half of them in the state of New York.