Trump says he is suspending immigration over coronavirus, need to protect jobs

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Trump says he is suspending immigration over coronavirus, need to protect jobs

President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with healthcare executives in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, April 14, 2020.

Leah Millis | Reuters

President Donald Trump said Monday that he is temporarily suspending immigration to the United States in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the “need to protect jobs.”

In a tweet Monday night, the president attributed the suspension to an “attack from the Invisible Enemy” and the “need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens.”

He added that he would sign an executive order temporarily suspending immigration.

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Trump previously barred travel from China and Europe to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

It’s not clear from the president’s tweet whether the order would bar non-U.S. citizens from traveling to the country for purposes such as business or to visit family.

The president said last month that he was discussing closing the country’s borders with Mexico and Canada because of the virus. A senior official told NBC News then that the administration was exploring new restrictions amid fears that large numbers of Central Americans would try to illegally access the U.S. health care system.

According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, Honduras has recorded 477 confirmed cases and 46 deaths, topping the so-called “northern triangle” countries — El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

Reuters reported Monday that Peru has been the hardest hit Latin American country, with more than 400 deaths and nearly 16,000 cases.

This is a developing story and will be updated. 

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