Trump signs immigration order amid coronavirus outbreak

MANDEL NGAN / AFP

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order temporarily halting immigration into the country.

He explained that the order, which is set to last for 60 days, is aimed at protecting American workers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

"In order to protect our great American workers I have just signed an executive order temporarily suspending immigration into the United States. This will ensure that unemployed Americans of all backgrounds will be first in line for jobs as our economy reopens," Trump announced at his White House press briefing.

He added that the move will also "preserve our healthcare resources for American patients" afflicted by the coronavirus.

Critics, however, accused him of using the pandemic to implement his hardline immigration policies.

So far, the country has more than 849,000 positive cases and over 47,000 fatalities. 

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