US President Donald Trump to temporarily suspend immigration in the US

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US President Donald Trump (file image)

US President Donald Trump on Monday (local time) said that he will sign an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States amid 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!” Trump said on Twitter.

The order would mark an extraordinary use of executive power by Trump, who, just hours earlier, spoke about the ability of certain states to begin reopening their economies despite the threat of the virus, The Hill reported.

The suspension of all immigration would serve as an extension on the travel restrictions that the Trump administration has already imposed on most of Europe, China, Canada, Mexico, Iran and South Korea.

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Trump has spent much of his presidency pushing to restrict immigration into the States. Last year, he also pushed for construction of a wall on the US-Mexico border, implemented policies that limited migrants from applying for asylum and overseen the separation of families who cross into the country illegally.

Democratic officials on late Monday accused Trump of using the pandemic as justification to cater to his base with the hardline immigration policy, the media reported further.

“Immigration has nearly stopped and the US has far more cases than any other country. This is just xenophobic scapegoating,” Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) tweeted.

“What an insult to the millions of immigrants currently risking their lives in essential jobs while the Trump administration scapegoats,” Rep Judy Chu (D-Calif.) tweeted.

The move was initially met with approval by some conservatives who viewed it as a way to protect Americans facing economic hardship from the pandemic.

COVID-19 has infected more than 2.4 million people around the world. The U.S. has by far the most confirmed cases at more than 786,000, according to data from Johns Hopkins, though experts have cast doubt on China’s official total of just over 83,000 cases.

(With ANI inputs)

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