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Immigrant rights advocates expressed concern that the U.S. government will indefinitely prolong the emergency measures.
The U.S. President Donald Trump Monday night announced that he will sign a decree to temporarily suspend the entry of immigrants to his country while his administration faces the health and economic effects triggered by the COVID-19.
"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.
The Department of National Security (DHS), which is in charge of immigration management, did not offer details about Trump’s announcement and its possible actual effects. His tweet is consistent with his anti-immigration stance, though.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Trump administration has closed land borders with Canada and Mexico, suspended international air traffic and limited visa processing at its consulates and embassies.
The U.S. is also immediately deporting to Mexico all asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants who cross its border.
The US economy is about to go to a very dark place at a very unstable time and with an unhinged psychopath in charge. There will be calls from republicans for people to take to the streets. Even if Trump loses in November he'll refuse to leave the Whitehouse. pic.twitter.com/kZWb95ct5k
Immigrant rights advocates have expressed concern that the government will indefinitely prolong the COVID-19-related emergency measures, most of which have been used to suspend customary immigration laws and procedures.
“This is completely nuts and will not be upheld by the Supreme Courts,” human rights defender and attorney Charles Kuck tweeted regarding the U.S. president's announcement.
Last week, however, his administration approved that immigrants with agricultural visas can extend their stays beyond three years and change employers to avoid a crisis in the food supply chain.
"The Trump administration has eased requirements for farmers to hire seasonal workers from other countries as the labor supply has been disrupted by the pandemic," outlet Politico recalled.
As of Tuesday morning, the United States has reported 794,297 COVID-19 confirmed cases and 42,564 deaths.