April 23, 2020
KIND submitted comments today on an interim final rule issued by the CDC allowing the Director to issue an order temporarily suspending the “introduction” of persons into the United States from countries where an infectious disease has been detected in order to prevent the introduction of that disease into the United States. The CDC concurrently issued an Order specifically limiting entry into the United States of non-citizens without authorization to enter the U.S. from Canada or Mexico, making no provision to ensure that the rights of unaccompanied children and asylum-seekers are protected in the process. DHS has consequently interpreted the Order to permit summary expulsion of undocumented individuals, including children, without conducting any of the appropriate screenings, referring children to ORR or giving them access to immigration court as required under the TVPRA, as well as laws relating to asylum and withholding of removal. KIND notes that the Rule itself exceeds the CDC’s authority to regulate immigration and that the failure of the Rule and Order to provide appropriate protections for children and asylum-seekers is already causing extraordinary harm to those returned, exposing them to greater dangers not only from violence and persecution, but from potential exposure to the novel coronavirus in the deportation process and in Mexico and other countries of origin where children are being returned to crowded and unsafe conditions.