The President explained this as an attack by an “invisible enemy” and the need to protect American jobs.
“In light of the attack by an invisible enemy, and because of the need to protect the jobs of our wonderful American citizens, I will sign an Executive order temporarily suspending immigration to the United States,” Trump tweeted.
The coronavirus has brought the American economy to a standstill – over the past month, more than 22 million people have applied for unemployment benefits.
The suspension of immigration to the United States may affect hundreds of thousands of visa holders and potential recipients of residence permits (green cards) who plan and prepare to come to the United States at any time. Most of them are members of American families.
Last year, the State Department issued about 460,000 immigration visas, and the citizenship and immigration Service approved about 580,000 applications from foreigners for residence permits, according to the latest statistics.
Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy expert at the libertarian Cato Institute, told the Washington Post that the President probably has the authority to issue such an Executive order during a crisis.
According to Nowrasteh, there are at least two legal grounds for Trump’s decision to close the border to all immigrants: section 42 of the US Code allows the President to suspend immigration for health-related reasons, and the Supreme Court decision 2018 that upheld his restrictions on entering the country set a legal precedent.
If such a decree is signed, it will be an unprecedented case in American history, according to Nowrasteh.
At the peak of the 1918 flu pandemic, the US admitted more than 110,000 immigrants to the country.