President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday temporarily curbing immigration in what he described as a bid to limit competition for jobs as the U.S. takes steps toward reopening the economy.
“In order to protect our great American workers I’ve just signed an executive order temporarily suspending immigration into the United States,” Trump said Wednesday evening at a White House press conference. “This will ensure unemployed Americans of all backgrounds will be first in line for jobs as our economy reopens. Crucially it will also preserve our health care resources for American patients.”
The order -- it halts the issuing of certain visas for the next 60 days -- had been expected since the president tweeted late Monday that he planned to “temporarily suspend immigration into the United States.”
His tweet caught businesses, farmers and even some White House aides by surprise, and came before lawyers on the president’s team had finished drafting the executive order.
The move could affect thousands of would-be immigrants seeking to move permanently to the U.S. and further delay a green card process that is notoriously cumbersome for those seeking to remain in the country.
But the order is not expected to affect temporary workers who represent the country’s biggest source of new immigration.
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