How Coronavirus is Changing US Asylum Policy at the Border

Source: Immigration Impact

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released an order on March 21, stating that border officials are to “suspend the introduction of persons into the U.S.” in order to protect public health. The CDC also went into detail of how current immigration detention centers increase the serious danger to the public health of the U.S.

In response, individuals seeking asylum “will be processed in the field rather than taken to a Border Patrol processing center.” Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) will no longer detain them, but return them to their country of origin. See fact sheet.

CBP also released a statement cancelling all Migrant Protection Protocol hearings now through April 22.

Turning away asylum seekers at this time is a violation of international law. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees found that in a time of a public health crisis, the U.S. cannot deny individuals seeking international protection from an opportunity to seek asylum. See here

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