US President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday evening that he had signed a decree under which he suspended for 60 days the issuance of permanent residence permits in the United States, in a move he said was designed to protect workers from the economic downturn caused by the outbreak of the emerging Coronavirus.
“In order to protect our wonderful American workers, I have just signed an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration to the United States,” Trump said during his daily White House press conference on the developments of the Covid-19 epidemic.
He added, “This matter will allow us to ensure that unemployed Americans from all backgrounds will be the first to benefit from jobs when the economy is reopened”.
The US President did not rule out the extension of this comment, indicating that this matter will be considered “at the appropriate time”.
The suspension is valid for 60 days and does not include temporary work visas, but permanent green cards.
The controversial move comes just six months before Trump’s presidential election to win a second term and at a time when the world’s largest economy is facing the catastrophic repercussions of the Covid-19 epidemic.