Donald J. Trump seems to be getting his wish, though temporarily, of closing down U.S. borders to immigrants. In a tweet Monday night, the impeached president said that he was taking the action to protect Americans from the threat of the coronavirus.

“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 enthusiastically declared. No further details of the order were provided by the White House. 

Trump has made immigration a pillar of his administration. In 2016, he ran on a promise to build a border wall with Mexico. In 2018 Trump showed his disdain toward immigrants from predominantly Black nations, calling countries in Africa and the island nation of Haiti “shithole countries.”

“Why do we need more Haitians? Take them out,” Trump reportedly said. Earlier this year, Trump extended his already controversial travel ban to include Nigeria, Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania and a handful of Asian countries.

CNN reports that immigration to the United States has stemmed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Visa offices are currently closed and citizenship ceremonies have been put on hold. Trump has also restricted travel into the country to foreign nationals from China, Europe and the United Kingdom. 

Trump discusses immigration, closing border walls, and other coronavirus threats
WASHINGTON, DC – FEBRUARY 26: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the beginning of a new conference with members of the coronavirus task force, including Vice-President Mike Pence in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on February 26, 2020, in Washington, D.C. Trump updated the American people about what his administration’s ‘whole of government’ response to the global coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Trump’s action to suspend immigration amid the coronavirus ‘threat’ comes as he calls on states to start reopening. Republican governor Brian Kemp of Georgia says the state will open bowling alleys, nail salons, gyms, barbershops and other virus-prone businesses this week. Other states are likely to follow suit.

There are currently more than 678,000 active cases of coronavirus within U.S. borders. The total number of COVID-19 deaths in the country is nearly double that of Italy, which has the second-highest number of coronavirus-related deaths. 

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