President Donald Trump has announced what he describes as a “temporary suspension of immigration into the United States.”
The executive order would bar only those seeking permanent residency, not temporary workers.
Trump said Tuesday he would be placing a 60-day pause on the issuance of green cards in an effort to limit competition for jobs in a U.S. economy wrecked by the coronavirus.
He said there would be “certain exemptions," which staff members were still crafting Tuesday.
According to the Trump administration, this suspension is because of the impact of COVID-19.
"We must first take care of the American worker, by pausing immigration, we will help put Americans first in line for jobs as America reopens," said President Trump.
Late Monday night, Trump tweeted he would be signing the executive order. That post alone caused fear and uncertainty for many.
"It's a very xenophobic policy to come out and will devastate families of all different statuses and communities because immigration is wide spread. It's one of the bedrocks of our country," said attorney Anali Lopper with American Gateways.
Looper says she has been working with families who have waited years in line to get their green card the right way. Now, the delay continues.
"This order will only apply to individuals seeking a permanent residency. It will not apply to those entering in a temporary basis, and as we move forward, we will examine additional measures," said President Trump.
Meanwhile, advocacy groups like Waco Immigrants Alliance in Central Texas stand by those who need support during this unknown crisis.
"We hope that the Waco community knows there is no need to have shame or to hide from your allies here. I am hopeful that this crisis helps us see that there is so much about us that is similar, and we need to all fight for each other," said Hope Mustakim, Executive Director.
The order is currently being finalized. It could be presented as early as Wednesday morning.