Washington: US President Donald Trump has said that the White House will halt the immigration of green card recipients for 60 days while continuing to allow temporary workers on nonimmigrant visas to enter the country.
Speaking a day after he announced the move in a tweet, Trump on Tuesday said the measure would protect American jobs during the coronavirus crisis.
“I will be issuing a temporary suspension of immigration into the United States,” Trump said at the White House briefing, citing coronavirus outbreak and jobs shortage.
“By pausing, we’ll help put unemployed Americans first in line for jobs. It would be wrong to be replacing them with new immigrant labor flown in from abroad,” said the US president, CNN reported.
The US president said the order will apply to people seeking permanent residency in the United States, but that immigrant farm workers will be exempted.
Trump said he will sign the executive order on Wednesday. He said he would review the executive order at the end of that period and decide if it should be renewed.
After vowing to suspend all immigration to US on Monday night, Trump apparently changed his original plan that reportedly included immigrants like farm labourers and hi-tech employees on special visas after a backlash from some business leaders.
The United States has more than 814,500 confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 43,700 deaths caused by the virus as of Tuesday, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.