President Donald Trump tweeted Monday night he will temporarily suspend all immigration to the United States over coronavirus concerns.
"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 tweeted.
Bloomberg News reported that the White House did not respond to questions about the time frame of the suspension or who would be affected.
AP similarly reported late Monday night that the president offered no details as to what immigration programs might be affected by the order. The White House did not immediately elaborate on Trump's tweeted announcement.
Due to the pandemic, almost all visa processing by the State Department, including immigrant visas, has been suspended for weeks.
Trump suspended travel from China in early January except for Americans returning from there. The virus was first discovered in Wuhan, China. He later suspended travel from Europe. Trump has taken credit for his restrictions on travel to the U.S. from China and hard-hit European countries, arguing it contributed to slowing the spread of the virus in the U.S.
He has also closed the borders to Canada and Mexico to prevent the spread of the virus, which has killed more than 170,000 worldwide.
White House moves to stop asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants from entering the country are part of what Trump has said is his strategy to slow the spread of the virus, but critics have charged the administration is using the pandemic to move on what they call hard-line immigration policies.
More than 750,000 Americans have come down with COVID-19 and more than 42,000 have died.
The Associated Press contibuted to this report.
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