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CDC Extends Blockade Against Asylum Seekers, UACs

May 20, 2020 (1 min read)

CDC, May 19, 2020

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces the amendment and extension of an Order issued on March 20, 2020 and extended on April 20, 2020 under Sections 362 and 365 of the Public Health Service Act, and associated implementing regulations, that temporarily suspends the introduction of certain aliens based on the Director’s determination that introduction of aliens, regardless of their country of origin, migrating through Canada and Mexico into the United States creates a serious danger of the introduction of COVID-19 into the United States, and the danger is so increased by the introduction of such aliens that a temporary suspension is necessary to protect the public health. This amendment and extension goes into effect at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on May 21, 2020 and shall remain in effect until the CDC Director determines that the danger of further introduction of COVID-19 into the United States from covered aliens has ceased to be a serious danger to the public health, and the Order is no longer necessary to protect the public health. CDC shall review the latest information regarding the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health risks every thirty days to ensure that the Order remains necessary to protect the public health.  See the attached order (print-only) pdf icon[PDF – 12 pages] for the full requirements."

[But see Lucas Guttentag, Apr. 13, 2020: "The Trump administration’s novel COVID-19 border ban invokes public health authority to erect a shadow immigration enforcement power in violation of the Refugee Act, legal safeguards for unaccompanied minors, and fundamental procedural rights. Relying on an obscure 1944 provision that provides no authority for immigration removals, the Centers for Disease Control purports to authorize summary Border Patrol expulsions of asylum seekers. ... the Order is crafted to target the population of noncitizens seeking asylum and protection from persecution at the southern border and renders them subject to a summary CDC expulsion while denying them the opportunity to claim asylum or protection from persecution under existing law."