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Trump Signs Order Suspending U.S. Immigration for 60 Days

The ban will apply to individuals applying for permanent residency in the U.S.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday suspending immigration into the U.S. and barring immigrants seeking permanent residency from receiving green cards for 60 days.

At a press briefing on Wednesday, Trump said that he ordered the green card suspension to help unemployed Americans “of all backgrounds” to be “first in line for jobs” as the economy reopens amid the pandemic.

But when asked by reporters for more specifics on who the suspension would apply to, Trump did not answer explicitly and instead said that the order was “subject to change.”

“It might be modified. It could be modified next week, in two weeks. It could be modified in two months,” Trump said. “But right now, we have a very powerful immigration ban, but it could be modified, meaning made tougher or made less tough. We don’t want to hurt our businesses and we don’t want to hurt our farmers.”

On Monday evening, the president tweeted that he would be signing an executive order to “temporarily suspend immigration” to “protect” jobs for American citizens. His late-night tweet left White House officials and attorneys scrambling to prepare such an executive order and sort through its legal implications, according to the Washington Post.

At a Tuesday press briefing, Trump also addressed his then-pending executive order and said that he could potentially be rolling over the suspension beyond the 60 days, but that farmers — many of whom rely on immigrant laborers — would not be affected by the suspension.

“By pausing, we’ll help put unemployed Americans first in line for jobs. It would be wrong to be replacing them with new immigrant labor flown in from abroad,” Trump said on Tuesday. “I want the American worker and our American citizens to be able to get jobs. I don’t want them to compete right now.”