Barring asylum seekers but not others

On March 20, the Centers for Disease Control issued a largely unnoticed but sweeping order authorizing the summary expulsion of noncitizens arriving at the Mexican border without valid documents. It allows all others with proper papers to pass through.

The CDC Order is based on an emergency Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Interim Final Rule issued simultaneously with the Order under the authority of an obscure provision of the 1944 Public Health Service Act. Section 362 of that Act authorizes the Surgeon General to suspend “introduction of persons or goods” into the United States on public health grounds.

There is no requirement that a barred person actually be infected or contagious, or that the individuals themselves actually pose a danger to public health. And under the rule no individualized determination is required.

For more than a year, the administration has sought unsuccessfully to undo the asylum system at the southern border claiming that exigencies and limited government resources compel abrogating rights and protections for refugees and other noncitizens.

From here.

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