Trump to ‘suspend immigration into the United States’ by executive order amid coronavirus

Trump to ‘suspend immigration into the United States’ by executive order amid coronavirus

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President Trump announced late Monday he will soon sign an executive order “to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States” in a drastic escalation of his efforts to fight the coronavirus pandemic and boost the economy.

The declaration came hours after U.S. equity markets crashed, with oil prices turning negative for the first time in history.

“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!” the president tweeted.

The precise contours of the president’s planned executive order were not immediately clear. The U.S. recently agreed with both Canada and Mexico to extend border restrictions on nonessential travel for another 30 days, through May 16 and May 19, respectively.

And, the president already has blocked most travel from other hotspots, including most of Europe and China.

However, people with temporary work visas, students and business travelers were exempted, along with emergency personnel.

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On Monday, the U.S. government said it will continue to quickly expel migrants it encounters along the border with Mexico for at least another month in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Jeanette Vizguerra wears a face mask during a car protest calling for the release of detainees at the GEO Immigration Detention Center because of the dangers posed by the new coronavirus Friday, April 17, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Jeanette Vizguerra wears a face mask during a car protest calling for the release of detainees at the GEO Immigration Detention Center because of the dangers posed by the new coronavirus Friday, April 17, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Under the U.S. policy change spurred by the virus, the U.S. government has sent some 10,000 Mexicans and Central Americans back to Mexico, according to data from the U.S.Border Patrol.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) says that more than 100 migrants at 25 detention centers have tested positive for COVID-19. Guatemala claims that 44 migrants deported from the U.S. tested positive.

This is a developing story. Check back soon for updates. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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