WASHINGTON (WLNS) – President Donald Trump said on Twitter at 10:06 p.m. that he will sign executive order to “temporarily suspend immigration” into the United States.
The tweet comes as the administration seeks to reopen parts of the country from the coronavirus shutdown through a phased approach.
It is unclear exactly how the president’s planned executive order would occur, according to Fox News and CNN.
President Trump 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, according to CNN and the Associated Press.
Due to the pandemic, almost all visa processing by the State Department, including immigrant visas, has been suspended for weeks.
The U.S. recently agreed to extend border restrictions on nonessential travel with Canada until May 16th and Mexico through May 19th.
The president has already blocked most travel from places including most of Europe, Iran, South Korea, and China.
Over 2.4 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19 as of April 20th, 2020 at 10:27 p.m., according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
The global pandemic has now killed more than 170,000 people worldwide. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.
Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected nation, with more than 786,000 diagnosed cases and over 42,000 deaths.
The number of cases in New York state alone is higher than in any single country outside the U.S.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.