Published On: Wed, May 20th, 2020

U.S. is extending a ban on ‘non-essential’ travel at the borders with Canada and Mexico

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The Trump administration is extending a ban on “non-essential” travel at the borders with Canada and Mexico.

“Our efforts over the last several months to limit non-essential travel have been successful and now is not the time to change course,” Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said in a statement.

Leading public health experts say the ban on asylum-seekers has no basis in science.

“The nation’s public health laws should not be used as a pretext for overriding humanitarian laws and treaties that provide life-saving protections to refugees seeking asylum and unaccompanied children,” they wrote.

The Trump administration on Tuesday extended restrictions on “non-essential” travel at the US borders with Canada and Mexico, including a ban on asylum-seekers that experts say has nothing to do with protecting public health.

“Our efforts over the last several months to limit non-essential travel have been successful and now is not the time to change course,” Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said in a statement.

The travel restrictions, which apply only to land ports, do not prohibit US citizens and permanent residents from entering the country, nor persons traveling for work, attending school, transporting goods, or receiving or providing medical treatment. 

Tourists traveling by land are prohibited, however, as are those seeking refuge from poverty or violence.

That latter prohibition could end up being indefinite, according to a May 13 report in The New York Times. A draft public health order from Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, would extend border restrictions until the CDC determines that the “further introduction of COVID-19 into the United States has ceased to be a danger to the public health.”



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