US President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that he had signed an order to partially suspend immigration to the United States, saying the drastic measure would protect jobs during the coronavirus crisis.
"To protect our great American workers, I just signed an executive order that temporarily suspends immigration to the United States. It ensures that unemployed Americans of all backgrounds are at the forefront of reopening our economy," he said a press conference.
The 60-day ban applies to people who apply for permanent residence or green cards. Seasonal workers, such as immigrants who are critical to U.S. farm workers, may continue to enter.
The regulation exempts several categories of green card applicants, including people working in healthcare.
Trump said he is trying to protect the labor market for U.S. citizens at a time when the economy has dropped off a cliff due to the corona virus shutdown and 22 million people have entered unemployment.
"Without intervention, the United States faces a potentially lengthy economic recovery with persistently high unemployment," the president said.
However, Trump has already made legal and illegal immigration restrictions a cornerstone of his presidency, and the dramatic new ban is expected to fuel his offer for a second term in November.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)