United States President Donald Trump has said he would halt issuing of new Green Cards or legal permanent residency for the next 60 days as part of his executive order to temporarily suspend immigration into the US.
The move will, however, not have any impact on those entering the country on a temporary basis.
Trump said he would sign an executive order to suspend all immigration into the US on Tuesday, citing the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic as the reason.
It is being said that as a result of the pandemic, more than 22 million American workers have applied for unemployment benefits, which is a record in itself. In the coming weeks, several more millions are expected to being laid off as the US economy is in tatters.
“We must first take care of the American worker. This pause will be in effect for 60 days, after which need for any extension or modification will be evaluated by myself and a group of people based on economic conditions at the time,” Trump told reporters at his daily White House news conference on coronavirus.
“This order will only apply to individuals seeking a permanent residency, in other words, those receiving green cards, big factor, will not apply to those entering on a temporary basis,” he asserted.
Without elaborating, he said that there will be exemptions.
“By pausing immigration, we’ll help put unemployed Americans first in line for jobs as America reopens,” he said.
Trump said, moving forward, his administration would examine what additional immigration related measures should be put in place to protect US workers.
“We want to protect our US workers, and I think as we move forward, we will become more and more protective of them,” he said indicating that more such measures are being prepared.
Trump said that this pause on new immigration will also help to conserve vital medical resources for American citizens.
As per the existing law, the US can issue a maximum of 1,40,000 employment-based Green Cards every year with a per country cap of seven per cent.