Trump will suspend immigration into US due to coronavirus fears

Trump will suspend immigration into US due to coronavirus fears

(Channel TT Desk): President Donald Trump has said he will sign an executive order to temporarily suspend all immigration to the US because of the coronavirus. On Twitter, he cited "the attack from the invisible enemy", as he calls the virus, and the need to protect the jobs of Americans, but did not give details.

It was not clear what programmes might be affected and whether the president would be able to carry out the order. Critics say the government is using the pandemic to crack down on immigration.

Mr Trump's announcement late on Monday comes as the White House also argues the worst of the pandemic is over and the country can begin reopening. The US has 782,805 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 42, 000 deaths.

The US has already agreed with both Canada and Mexico to extend border restrictions on non-essential travel until at least mid-May. Travel has also been sharply restricted from Europe and China, though people with temporary work visas, students and business travellers are exempted.

It was not immediately clear who could be affected by Mr Trump's decision. The White House has not commented. In recent weeks, emergency powers have been used to expel thousands of undocumented migrants on the US border with Mexico. The public health measure lets officials override immigration laws, expediting removal processes.