Citing coronavirus, US weighs more restrictions on border with Mexico that could include citizens

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It is the administration’s latest attempt to close U.S. borders, citing the virus. In March, the administration invoked a public health law to promptly deport migrants, including children, who are apprehended at the border. This action, including a series of other restrictions on movement, has been extended during the pandemic.

The options considered by the administration would also likely depend on authorities at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the source said. The New York Times first reported on the possibility of preventing Americans from returning to the United States on a limited basis, fearing they could be infected with the coronavirus.

“Career professionals at CDC are working on a comprehensive approach to tackling the pandemic both now and in the future,” an administration official familiar with the ongoing discussions told CNN. “The regulations are in the form of a draft and subject (to) change. This is an ongoing process and any report on it would be extremely premature. ”

CNN contacted the CDC and the Department of Homeland Security, who declined to comment.

A draft memo obtained by The Times states that any measure aimed at blocking citizens and lawful permanent residents must “include appropriate protections to ensure that no constitutional rights are violated” and would apply “only in the rarest circumstances ”.The United States overtakes other countries in coronavirus cases, including Mexico and Canada, which have 480,278 and 122,053 cases, respectively.

Previous travel restrictions imposed by the administration during the pandemic have excluded U.S. citizens and legal residents. For example, the United States has restricted non-essential travel to land ports of entry with Canada and Mexico. Americans regularly cross borders for a variety of reasons, including work, school attendance, family visits, and tourism.

Any movement targeting U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, in particular, is likely to face legal challenges. In the wake of the Times report on Monday, the United States Civil Liberties Union immediately called the move “unconstitutional.”

“The Trump administration has put in place one border ban after another – most recently on children and asylum seekers – using COVID-19 as an excuse, while failing miserably to get the virus under control in the States. United, “Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, said in a statement.

“The alleged order would be another serious mistake in a year that has already seen far too many,” Jadwat added.

CNN’s Nikki Carvajal contributed to this report.

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