President Trump said his executive order to temporarily suspend immigration amid the coronavirus pandemic into the United States would only apply to individuals seeking permanent residency or green card seekers and the measure will be in effect for 60 days.
“We have a solemn duty to ensure these unemployed Americans regain their jobs and their livelihoods, therefore in order to protect American workers, I will be issuing a temporary suspension of immigration into the United States,” Trump said at the Coronavirus Task Force press briefing Tuesday evening. “This order will only apply to individuals seeking a permanent residency. In other words, those receiving green cards. In other words, those receiving green cards, big factor, will not apply to those entering on a temporary basis.”
Unemployment in the United States have skyrocketed the last three weeks, with more than 22 million Americans are out of a work force since the pandemic was declared a national emergency last month that caused businesses to temporarily shutter or lay off workers.
“By pausing immigration we’ll help put Americans first in line for jobs as America reopens. This pause on new immigration will also help to conserve vital medical resources for American citizen,” Trump stated. “It would be wrong and unjust for Americans laid off by the virus to be replaced with new immigrant labor flown in from abroad. We must first take care of the American worker.”
Farmers will not be affected by the order, according to Trump, confirming visas for agricultural workers would fall outside the scope of the measure. The ban is expected to include waivers for non-immigrant visas of those in health care or medical research professionals in the front lines of the coronavirus battle.
Trump said his administration will review the order after the end of the 60 day period and he will be evaluating “based on economic conditions at the time” on any extension or changes.
“As we move forward, we’ll examine what additional immigration-related measures should be put in place,” Trump said.
The President said the text of the executive order is still being written, which he stated he is expecting to sign on Wednesday. He added that “certain exemptions” would be allowed and would be clarified in details tomorrow.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany described the order as “necessary” in a statement that is aimed at protecting both the “health and economic well-being of American citizens as we face unprecedented times.”
Trump first previewed his decision Monday evening in a tweet, announcing that he will sign an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration to the United States to “protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens” amid the Coronavirus pandemic.