A State Department spokesperson told Fox News the stoppage will begin on Thursday, March 19 and continue until Monday, April 6.
“The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program coordinates refugee arrivals with its international humanitarian implementing partners, IOM and UNHCR. The temporary suspension of resettlement travel programs globally will impact the arrival of refugees in the United States and other countries with refugee resettlement programs,” the spokesperson said.
“Due to the temporary suspension, we notified our implementing partners to expect a refugee arrivals pause from March 19 through April 6. We will work with our implementing partners to plan for a resumption of refugee arrivals on or after April 7.”
They added, “Refugees are subject to the same COVID-19 travel restrictions as other travelers to the United States. The Department of State has no higher priority than the welfare and safety of U.S. citizens.”
This news comes just one day after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was weighing a plan that would turn away asylum-seekers and deport anyone who had crossed the southern border illegally, to help stem the tide of the virus.
Fox News reached out to DHS for comment on the State Department’s announcement, but the agency did not respond to the request for comment.
The Trump administration is also still deciding on several major moves to help calm the economic instability brought on by the outbreak, including an $850 billion economic stimulus package, and direct government checks to help citizens remain financially solvent.