U.S. President Donald Trump has said he will temporarily suspend immigration in order to protect Americans’ jobs.
“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!” Mr. Trump said on Monday evening, in an apparent reference to the novel coronavirus .
The President could be trying to push States to open up, after weeks of lockdown, a DC source who works in the economic policy area, told The Hindu .
With more than 22 million Americans seeking unemployment benefits over the last month, and with a general election looming, Mr. Trump has been keen on opening up the U.S. economy — battling with some Governors to open up States. Last week, Mr. Trump issued an advisory telling States they could open by May 1 or before. Some States such as Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina —all headed by Republican Governors — are planning to ease restrictions.
On Twitter last week, Mr. Trump called for Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia — States with Democrat Governors — to be “liberated”. Earlier, the President had claimed he had the power to “open up” States, and Conservative groups have backed protests against stay at home orders across States.
The U.S. President has issued a number of immigration-related executive orders before, including after the pandemic began — such as orders allowing the immediate deportation of migrants without valid papers, or the potential sanctioning of countries that do not accept their citizens back from the U.S. Like those, his temporary immigration suspension order is likely be challenged in court immediately. The administration is also likely to first define and narrow the scope of what Mr. Trump’s describes in his tweet.