Trump Signs Executive Order Banning ALL Immigration to the US
President says ban is response to 'the attack from the Invisible Enemy'
President Donald Trump announced late Monday he is signing an executive order to ban all 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!" the president revealed on Twitter.
The move is the latest bold step by President Trump to curb the spread of COVID-19 as at least 22 million Americans are now out of work, with 13.5 percent of the workforce and 10 years of job growth wiped out.
Trump faced criticisms last month when, during an address to the nation, he announced a drastic ban on foreigners traveling to the United States from Europe.
The president had already banned travel from China as the COVID-19 outbreak was spreading from the city of Wuhan and was later praised due to his decisive actions likely saving many lives.
Exact details of President Trump's latest executive order are not immediately clear but migrant farmworkers and medics are believed to be exempt, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The White House has not commented on Trump's latest tweet but the order is likely to face challenges from the left, according to The Daily Mail.
Trump's tweet came as the U.S. death toll from the virus topped 42,000.
The United States has by far the world's largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, with more than 779,000 infections, up 20,000 on Monday.
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
The president has been praised for his restrictions on travel to the U.S. from China and hard-hit European countries after it appears to have contributed to slowing the spread of the virus in the U.S.
During his Monday briefing, Trump talked about his supporters and then pointed to his initial action on the coronavirus, a late-January travel ban from China, which excluded American citizens.
"And yet in January, a certain date - you know the date better than I do - we put on a ban of China, where China can't come in and before March we put on a ban of Europe, where Europe can't come in," Trump said.
Sources told The New York Times the formal order banning new green cards and work visas could be implemented in days, shutting down legal immigration.
Trump's tweet came hours after the price of U.S. oil traded below $0 for the first time ever.
And there were 5.2 million new claims for unemployment benefits filed last week, according to the latest Labor Department figures released on Thursday.
The staggering number of first-time claims was on top of the 16.8 million applications filed since the virus took hold in mid-March.
Economists say the unemployment rate could reach as high as 20 percent in April, which would be the highest rate since the Great Depression of the 1930s.
While accurate records didn't begin until 1948, economists say the unemployment rate rose to 25 percent in 1933.
Trump's administration is currently relying on a seldom-used public health law to set aside decades-old national and international immigration laws.
People seeking refuge in the U.S. are whisked to the nearest border crossing and returned to Mexico without a chance to apply for asylum.
It may be the most aggressive clampdown on immigration by a president who's made reducing asylum claims a top priority.
The administration tapped a law allowing the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to ban foreigners if their entry would create "a serious danger" to the spread of communicable diseases.
Due to the pandemic, almost all visa processing by the State Department, including immigrant visas, has been suspended for weeks.
Trump has made restricting immigration a central goal of his administration.