The president’s announcement comes as his administration seeks to reopen parts of the US from the COVID-19 shutdown. However, the NBC News reported that the move “had been under consideration for a while,” a senior administration official was quoted as saying by the report.
The official said that the details about how the plan would be implemented and how many countries would be affected “will be forthcoming,” the report added.
Meanwhile, Trump’s announcement drew sharp criticism from Democrats and immigration advocates. California’s Indian-origin Democratic Senator Harris said the president was taking advantage of the situation to push his hard-line immigration policies.
“Trump failed to take this crisis seriously from day 1. His abandonment of his role as president has cost lives. And now, he’s shamelessly politicising this pandemic to double down on his anti-immigrant agenda”, Harris tweeted.
Democrat Joaquin Castro tweeted that, “This action is not only an attempt to divert attention away from Trump’s failure to stop the spread of the coronavirus and save lives, but an authoritarian-like move to take advantage of a crisis and advance his anti-immigrant agenda.”