CDC Extension to Close Border to Kids Runs Counter to Commonsense, Expert Advice

May 19, 2020

Washington, DC – In response to today’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) order to continue the temporary suspension of all immigration into the United States, Kids in Need of Defense’s (KIND) President Wendy Young issued the following statement:

“Today’s order reflects the Trump Administration’s sustained attacks on those seeking asylum in the United States, including unaccompanied children. To use the COVID-19 pandemic as cover for this politically-motivated step runs counter to our nation’s ideals and legal commitments under domestic and international law, including Section 208 of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act and Article 33 of the 1951 Refugee Convention. It also smacks of hypocrisy when you consider the administration has done nothing to protect Americans who may come in contact with the thousands of commercial employees and citizens who freely pass through the United States’ borders each day without any medical screening. As the Administration urges the nation to get back to business, asylum seekers and unaccompanied children have been singled out not because they pose an increased threat and the United States is not capable of containing and addressing any medical issues that may arise. They’re being stopped from entering the United States because that was this Administration’s plan since day one.”

KIND notes that the CDC order runs counter to protections guaranteed under the bipartisan Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) and does not reflect the expert opinion of public health experts who recently issued a letter noting that unaccompanied children should be excluded from the current immigration ban.


Media Contact: Megan McKenna,, 202-631-9990