Donald Trump Will Sign Executive Order Temporarily Suspending Immigration Into the U.S. Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

In a tweet issued Monday evening, President Donald Trump pledged to sign an executive order temporarily suspending immigration into the United States. However, his tweet provided no additional information on whether the suspension would include all countries or how it would potentially handle visitors with work and other visas.

"In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens," Trump wrote in the tweet, "I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!"

Trump's pledge follows the March closures of the Mexican and Canadian borders to all nonessential travel, although trade is still allowed.

On March 11, the U.S. also barred the entry of all foreign nationals who had visited China, Iran or any of the following European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

On March 16, the list included the United Kingdom and Ireland.

On March 19, the U.S. State Department issued a Level 4 advisory recommending against any global travel by U.S. citizens. The recommendation was not a requirement, however.

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump looks on during a rally at the DeltaPlex Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Drew Angerer/Getty

Newsweek has reached out to the White House for comment. It had not yet responded by the time of publication.

Democratic congressional members criticized Trump's tweet shortly after he issued it.

Representative Don Beyer of Virginia tweeted, "From the beginning Trump has flailed about seeking someone to blame for his own failure. Obama. Governors. China. Speaker Pelosi. People of Asian descent. Immigration has nearly stopped and the US has far more cases than any other country. This is just xenophobic scapegoating."

Representative Jerry Nadler of New York tweeted, "President Trump now seeks to distract us from his fumbled COVID-19 response by trying to put the blame on immigrants. The truth is many immigrants are on our front lines, protecting us as doctors, nurses, health aids, farmworkers, and restaurant workers."

Representative Eric Swalwell of California simply tweeted, "We don't need to protect America from immigrants. We need to protect her from you."

However Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas supported Trump's pledge. He tweeted, "22 million Americans have lost their jobs in the last month because of the China virus. Let's help them get back to work before we import more foreigners to compete for their jobs."