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CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan Statement on the Extension of Border COVID-19 Policies

Release Date: 
May 20, 2020

WASHINGTON — U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan today released the following statement on the extension of COVID-19 policies, which include CDC authority under Title 42 and DHS restrictions on non-essential travel at our nation’s borders:

“The continuation of these two orders illustrates the President’s continued commitment to protecting the American people from a series of multifaceted, intertwined, and complex threats at our borders, including infectious diseases. These orders have been tremendously effective in providing CBP the ability to effectively protect United States citizens and others in the country legally by reducing the spread of COVID-19. These policies will exist at our borders until the further introduction of COVID-19 into the United States has ceased to be a serious danger to the public health.

“Imagine the disaster at our borders if there were a sudden migrant surge from Mexico and other counties - thousands of potentially infected individuals in close contact with each other and hundreds of CBP and other law enforcement personnel would be at risk of testing positive for COVID-19.  This threat could seriously affect border security and overwhelm an already taxed health system. We refuse to put American lives at risk. 

“Strong border enforcement is not just about the rule of law, national security and public safety. It is now a matter of public health. In the age of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, any individual arriving at our borders —with or without symptoms — is a potential risk to frontline personnel, doctors and nurses, and the American people. We have no idea of their travel patterns, their human contact history, or their personal health status; therefore, we cannot expose our CBP employees and the American people to these health risks until the serious dangers have ceased.

“On a recent day this week, CBP officers and agents encountered 722 illegal entrants along the land borders, a 44 percent decrease compared to the 21-day average just prior to the CDC order. In addition, CBP has about 100 migrants in custody at a given time and some Border Patrol stations go days without a single individual in custody. The CDC order allows for the quick processing of the vast majority of individuals apprehended. For example, on the southwest border, most are processed and returned to Mexico within two hours with extremely limited human interaction.”

The CDC Order can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/order-suspending-introduction-certain-persons.html

The DHS Orders can be found here: https://www.dhs.gov/publication/notification-temporary-travel-restrictions-applicable-land-ports-entry-and-ferries

 

Last modified: 
May 20, 2020