Trump says he will suspend immigration to US amid pandemic

Washington DC, Apr 20 (efe-epa).- United States President Donald Trump announced on Monday that he would temporarily ban immigration to the country to protect American jobs following the Covid-19 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.

Neither the White House nor the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the agency responsible for immigration management, gave any details beyond the president’s tweet, raising doubts about the actual effect of the announcement.

The US is the worst-hit nation due to the pandemic with 784,326 cases and more than 42,000 deaths caused by the infection, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Trump administration has closed land borders with Canada and Mexico.

The government has also suspended international air traffic and consulates and embassies have limited their visa services.

The US has also suspended immigration laws and has been immediately deporting all asylum-seekers and undocumented immigrants intercepted at the US-Mexico border, thereby using the pandemic to tighten its immigration policy.

Immigration rights advocates have raised concerns that the US administration may maintain the emergency measures under which it has suspended immigration laws well beyond the coronavirus crisis.

Attorney Charles Kuck, of immigration law firm Kuck Baxter, said on Twitter that Trump’s order would “not be upheld by the Supreme Court”.

In his tweet, Trump alluded to the “protection” of jobs at a time when lockdown measures due to the coronavirus have led to an unprecedented loss of 22 million jobs across the country over four weeks.

However, last week, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it was amending its regulations to allow immigrants on agricultural visas “to stay beyond the three-year maximum allowable period of stay in the United States.”

“These temporary changes will encourage and facilitate the lawful employment of foreign temporary and seasonal agriculture workers during the COVID-19 national emergency,” the government agency that falls under the DHS, said. EFE-EPA


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