US President Donald Trump said on Monday, April 20 he will be signing an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States.
"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", Trump said in a tweet late on Monday, April 20.
White House yet to comment on the development
It was not immediately clear when the suspension would go into effect or how long it would last but the order would likely trigger political and legal pushback. The White House is yet to comment on the development.
The order would mark an extraordinary use of executive power by Trump, who has imposed travel restrictions on a group of nations and regions -- measures that have led to chaos abroad and at US airports.
During his presidency, Trump has maintained a hardline stance on immigration and border security and pushed for a series of controversial measures, including erecting a border wall along the nation's southern border with Mexico in a bid to deter illegal immigrants.
The US has already agreed with both Canada and Mexico to extend border restrictions on non-essential travel until at least mid-May, said the BBC in a report. In recent weeks, emergency powers have been used to expel thousands of undocumented migrants on the US border with Mexico.
The public health measure lets officials override immigration laws, expediting removal processes. His announcement comes at the US has reported 786,968 coronavirus cases, with 42,308 deaths, both figures the highest in the world.
(with inputs from wires)