The declaration came hours after U.S. equity markets plunged, with oil prices turning negative for the first time in history. Also on Monday, three states -- Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina -- revealed plans to begin reopening some businesses.
"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!" the president tweeted.
The precise contours of the president's planned executive order were not immediately clear. The White House did not immediately elaborate on Trump's tweeted announcement.
Politico reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was still working out the details of the executive order, and that an exemption for temporary guest workers, including farm workers, was under consideration.
A top DHS official told the outlet that “22 million unemployed Americans and counting due to COVID-19" had prompted Trump to act.
Due to the pandemic, almost all visa processing by the State Department, including immigrant visas, has been suspended for weeks.
Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Arizona, applauded the planned executive order, and suggested a total immigration suspension should continue indefinitely. "Thank you, @realDonaldTrump!" he wrote. "All immigration to the United States should halt until every American who wants a job has one!"
"Given tens of millions of Americans are out of work right now and we’re battling a virus that spreads through human-to-human transmission I am dying to hear one coherent argument against this," wrote Spectator USA's Washington editor Amber Athey.
Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., meanwhile, said Trump was looking for "someone to blame for his own failure."