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President Trump announced Tuesday that he is issuing an executive order that will temporarily suspend some kinds of immigration to the U.S. for 60 days.

Details: The order will only apply to individuals seeking permanent residency. "In other words, those receiving green cards,” Trump said. It will not apply to those entering the U.S. on a temporary basis.

  • After the 60-day period, the administration will reevaluate whether to extend or modify the order.
  • Trump did not provide any further details on whether there would be other exemptions and noted that the order was still being written.

What he's saying: "By pausing immigration, we will help unemployed Americans be first in line for jobs as America reopens. So important," Trump said Tuesday.

  • "It would be wrong and unjust for Americans laid off by the virus to be replaced with new immigrant labor flown in from abroad. We must first take care of the American worker, take care of the American worker."

What they're saying: Trump's announcement, first previewed in a vague tweet on Monday night, caught many administration officials, members of Congress and immigration restrictionists by surprise.

  • Top House and Senate leaders, both Democrat and Republican, told Axios the first they heard of the planned order was from Trump’s tweet. Their offices scrambled Tuesday to get more information.
  • "We should've been made aware of this, but we weren't," a senior GOP congressional aide told Axios. "None of us got a heads up."

Between the lines: Immigration hardliners told Axios they had expected the order to be more wide-ranging — impacting people coming into the U.S. on some short-term work visas like H-1B and H-2B visas.

  • "Temporary workers are the ones who displace Americans. If you don’t do that you’re not doing anything," said Ryan Girdusky, a conservative writer who has pushed for more restricting immigration to the U.S.
  • Thomas Homan, former head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), told Axios that “it makes sense to protect opportunities for our workforce while this pandemic plays out.” He said he wanted to wait and see the final details in the order itself to determine whether it does enough for American workers.

Don't forget: Much of the immigration system has already halted because of the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Travel to the U.S. from China, Iran, the Schengen area in Europe, Ireland and the United Kingdom is largely prohibited.
  • Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the DHS agency which handles legal immigration processes and visas, has closed all of its U.S. offices.
  • Most State Department visa services at embassies and consulates are also suspended.
  • At the southwest border, border agents are quickly expelling thousands of asylum seekers and other migrants who don't have legal travel documents — including children — through special powers provided by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) public health order.
  • Hearings for migrants who have already begun their asylum process, but must wait in Mexico, have been postponed.

Go deeper

Trump administration to allow yearlong renewals for current DACA recipients

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Trump administration is allowing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to renew their protections under the program for one year as officials begin a review of DACA and how the administration attempted to end it, a senior administration official announced Tuesday.

Between the lines: Despite the Supreme Court ruling that Trump illegally ended the Obama-era program in June and a federal judge ruling earlier this month that it must be restored to its full status, the administration will continue to reject new applications, according to the official.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
1 hour ago - Health

Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Biden's plan to accelerate the reopening of K-8 schools faces major challenges from a still out-of-control pandemic and more contagious coronavirus variants.

Why it matters: The longer American kids miss in-person schooling, the further they fall behind. But the uncertain state of the science on the role young children play in the pandemic continues to complicate efforts to reopen schools.

Focus group: Former Trump voters say he should never hold office again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Relief" is the top emotion some swing voters who used to support Donald Trump say they felt as they watched President Biden's swearing-in, followed by "hope."

Why it matters: For voters on the bubble between parties, this moment is less about excitement for Biden or liberal politics than exhaustion and disgust with Trump and a craving for national healing. Most said Trump should be prohibited from ever holding office again.