President Donald Trump says he's temporarily halting immigration during coronavirus pandemic

President Donald Trump gave his daily coronavirus task force briefing Monday at the White House. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

President Donald Trump said late Monday evening he intends to sign an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States in “light of the attack” from the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s unclear how far-reaching the order will be, when it will be signed or which countries it will apply to, but it comes as the president repeatedly defended himself against criticism that he should have reacted earlier to deal with the pandemic. The move is also intended to protect American jobs, the president said in a tweet.

“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!” he wrote.

Trump banned travel from China for foreigners who had been in that country within 14 days of entering the United States. He’s repeatedly mentioned the move in news conferences and said his decision likely saved American lives.

This is a developing story and will continue to be updated.