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During his daily press briefing on Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced that he would be placing a 60-day suspension on the issuance of green cards.
Due to the ambiguity of Trump’s Monday evening Twitter announcement, much speculation has ensued over just how broad the ban on immi
grants would be and whether it would also apply to temporary workers.
“I will be issuing a temporary suspension of immigration into the United States … By pausing immigration we will help put unemployed Americans first in line for jobs as America reopens … It would be wrong and unjust for Americans laid off by the virus to be replaced with new immigrant labor … We must first take care of the American worker.”
This announcement likely came as a relief to the hundreds of thousands of temporary workers already holding non-immigrant visas whose jobs vary from blue to white collar roles in the economy.
However, with the pause in issuing green cards, the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, estimated that around 110,000 green cards could be delayed during the suspension period.
This is not the first time that Trump has raised concerns about immigrants competing with Americans for jobs and advocated for restrictions on immigration into the country.
When asked during his briefing whether his announcement was an attempt to capitalize on the current pandemic to fulfill a long held campaign promise, Trump stated that that was not his intention.
“No, I’m not doing that all,” he said.
However, Trump has pushed other political priorities, from tax reform to dramatic border restrictions, during the COVID-19 outbreak.