[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 78 (Friday, April 22, 2022)]

[Rules and Regulations]

[Pages 24048-24055]

From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

[FR Doc No: 2022-08743]

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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

19 CFR Chapter I

RIN 1601-ZA20

Notification of Temporary Travel Restrictions Applicable to Land

Ports of Entry and Ferries Service Between the United States and Canada

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security;

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland

Security.

ACTION: Notification of temporary travel restrictions.

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SUMMARY: This Notification announces the decision of the Secretary of

Homeland Security (``Secretary''), after consulting with interagency

partners, to continue to temporarily restrict travel by certain

noncitizens into the United States at land ports of entry, including

ferry terminals, (``land POEs'') along the United States-Canada border.

These restrictions only apply to noncitizens who are neither U.S.

nationals nor lawful permanent residents (``noncitizen non-LPRs'').

Under the temporary restrictions, DHS will allow the processing for

entry into the United States of only those noncitizen non-LPRs who are

fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and can provide proof of being fully

vaccinated against COVID-19 upon request at arrival. According to the

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (``CDC''), vaccines remain

the most effective public health measure to protect people from severe

illness or death from COVID-19, slow the transmission of COVID-19, and

reduce the likelihood of new COVID-19 variants emerging. These

restrictions help protect the health and safety of both the personnel

at the border and other travelers, as well as U.S. destination

communities. These restrictions provide for limited exceptions, largely

consistent with the limited exceptions currently available with respect

to COVID-19 vaccination in the international air travel context.

DATES: These restrictions will become effective at 12:00 a.m. Eastern

Daylight Time (EDT) on April 22, 2022, and may be amended or rescinded

at any time, including to conform these restrictions to any intervening

changes in Presidential Proclamation 10294 and implementing CDC orders

and consistent with the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1318.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Greta Campos, Office of Field

Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), 202-344-2775.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

On March 24, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (``DHS'')

published a Notification of its decision to temporarily limit the

travel of certain noncitizen non-LPRs into the United States at land

POEs along the United States-Canada border to ``essential travel,'' as

further defined in that document.\1\ The March 24, 2020, Notification

described the developing circumstances regarding the COVID-19 pandemic

and stated that, given the outbreak, continued transmission, and spread

of the virus associated with COVID-19 within the United States and

globally, DHS had determined that the risk of continued transmission

and spread of the virus associated with COVID-19 between the United

States and Canada posed a specific threat to human life or national

interests. Under the March 24, 2020, Notification, DHS continued to

allow certain categories of travel, described as ``essential travel.''

Essential travel included travel to attend educational institutions,

travel to work in the United States, travel for emergency response and

public health purposes, and travel for lawful cross-border trade.

Essential travel also included travel by U.S. citizens and lawful

permanent residents returning to the United States.

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\1\ 85 FR 16548 (Mar. 24, 2020). That same day, DHS also

published a Notification of its decision to temporarily limit the

travel of certain noncitizen non-LPR persons into the United States

at land POEs along the United States-Mexico border to ``essential

travel,'' as further defined in that document. 85 FR 16547 (Mar. 24,

2020).

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From March 2020 through October 2021, in consultation with

interagency partners, DHS reevaluated and ultimately extended the

restrictions on non-essential travel each month. On October 21, 2021,

DHS extended the restrictions until 11:59 p.m. EST on January 21,

2022.\2\ In that document, DHS acknowledged that notwithstanding the

continuing threat to human life or national interests posed by COVID-

19--as well as then-recent increases in case levels, hospitalizations,

and deaths due to the Delta variant--COVID-19 vaccines are effective

against Delta and other known COVID-19 variants. These vaccines protect

people from becoming infected with and severely ill from COVID-19 and

significantly reduce the likelihood of hospitalization and death. DHS

also acknowledged the White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator's

September 2021 announcement regarding the United States' plans to

revise standards and procedures for incoming international air travel

to enable the air travel of travelers fully vaccinated against COVID-19

beginning in early November 2021.\3\ DHS further stated that the

Secretary intended to do the same with respect to certain travelers

seeking to enter the United States from Mexico and Canada at land POEs

to align the treatment of different types of travel and allow those who

are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel

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to the United States, whether for essential or non-essential

reasons.\4\

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\2\ See 86 FR 58218 (Oct. 21, 2021) (extending restrictions for

the United States-Canada border); 86 FR 58216 (Oct. 21, 2021)

(extending restrictions for the United States-Mexico border).

\3\ See Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki (Sept. 20,

2021), https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/press-briefings/2021/09/20/press-briefing-by-press-secretary-jen-psaki-september-20-2021/ (``As was announced in a call earlier today . . . [w]e--

starting in . . . early November [will] be putting in place strict

protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 from passengers flying

internationally into the United States by requiring that adult

foreign nationals traveling to the United States be fully

vaccinated.'').

\4\ See 86 FR 58218; 86 FR 58216.

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On October 29, 2021, following additional announcements regarding

changes to the international air travel policy by the President of the

United States and CDC,\5\ DHS announced that beginning November 8,

2021, non-essential travel of noncitizen non-LPRs would be permitted

through land POEs, provided that the traveler is fully vaccinated

against COVID-19 and can provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination

status upon request.\6\ DHS also announced in October 2021 that

beginning in January 2022, inbound noncitizen non-LPRs traveling to the

United States via land POEs--whether for essential or non-essential

reasons--would be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and

provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination status. In making this

announcement, the Department provided fair notice of the anticipated

changes, thereby allowing ample time for noncitizen non-LPR essential

travelers to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19.\7\

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\5\ Changes to requirements for travel by air were implemented

by, inter alia, Presidential Proclamation 10294 of October 25, 2021,

86 FR 59603 (Oct. 28, 2021) (``Presidential Proclamation 10294''),

and a related CDC order, 86 FR 61224 (Nov. 5, 2021) (``CDC Order'').

See also CDC, Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or

Recovery from COVID-19 for All Air Passengers Arriving in the United

States, https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/pdf/Global-Testing-Order-10-25-21-p.pdf (Oct. 25, 2021); Requirement for Airlines and Operators

to Collect Contact Information for All Passengers Arriving into the

United States, https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/pdf/CDC-Global-Contact-Tracing-Order-10-25-2021-p.pdf (Oct. 25, 2021). CDC later

amended its testing order following developments related to the

Omicron variant. See CDC, Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19

Test Result or Recovery from COVID-19 for All Airline Passengers

Arriving into the United States, https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/pdf/Amended-Global-Testing-Order_12-02-2021-p.pdf (Dec. 2, 2021).

\6\ See 86 FR 72842 (Dec. 23, 2021) (describing the announcement

with respect to Canada); 86 FR 72843 (Dec. 23, 2021) (describing the

announcement with respect to Mexico).

\7\ See DHS, DHS Releases Details for Fully Vaccinated, Non-

Citizen Travelers to Enter the U.S. at Land and Ferry Border

Crossings, https://www.dhs.gov/news/2021/10/29/dhs-releases-details-fully-vaccinated-non-citizen-travelers-enter-us-land-and-ferry (Oct.

29, 2021); DHS, Fact Sheet: Guidance for Travelers to Enter the U.S.

at Land Ports of Entry and Ferry Terminals, https://www.dhs.gov/news/2021/10/29/fact-sheet-guidance-travelers-enter-us-land-ports-entry-and-ferry-terminals (updated Jan. 20, 2022); see also DHS,

Frequently Asked Questions: Guidance for Travelers to Enter the

U.S., https://www.dhs.gov/news/2021/10/29/frequently-asked-questions-guidance-travelers-enter-us (updated Jan. 20, 2022).

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On December 14, 2021, at DHS's request, CDC provided a memorandum

to DHS describing the current status of the COVID-19 public health

emergency. The CDC memorandum warned of ``case counts and deaths due to

COVID-19 continuing to increase around the globe and the emergence of

new and concerning variants,'' and emphasized that ``[v]accination is

the single most important measure for reducing risk for SARS-CoV-2

transmission and avoiding severe illness, hospitalization, and death.''

\8\ Consistent with these considerations and in line with DHS's October

2021 announcement, CDC recommended that proof of COVID-19 vaccination

requirements be expanded to cover both essential and non-essential

noncitizen non-LPR travelers.

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\8\ See Memorandum from CDC to CBP re Public Health

Recommendation for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination at U.S. Land

Borders (Dec. 14, 2021).

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In support of this conclusion, CDC cited studies indicating that

individuals vaccinated against COVID-19 are five times less likely to

be infected with COVID-19 and more than eight times less likely to

require hospitalization than those who are unvaccinated. Conversely,

unvaccinated people are 14 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than

those who are vaccinated.\9\ Per CDC, ``proof of vaccination of

travelers helps protect the health and safety of both the personnel at

the border and other travelers, as well as U.S. destination

communities. Border security and transportation security work is part

of the Nation's critical infrastructure and presents unique challenges

for ensuring the health and safety of personnel and travelers.'' \10\

In a January 14, 2022, update, CDC confirmed its prior recommendation.

Specifically, CDC noted the ``rapid increase'' of COVID-19 cases across

the United States that have contributed to high levels of community

transmission and increased rates of new hospitalizations and deaths.

According to CDC, between January 5 and January 11, 2022, the seven-day

average for new hospital admissions of patients with confirmed COVID-19

increased by 24 percent over the prior week, and the seven-day average

for new COVID-19-related deaths rose to 2,991, an increase of 33.7

percent compared to the prior week. CDC emphasized that this increase

had exacerbated the strain on the United States' healthcare system and

again urged that ``[v]accination of the broadest number of people best

protects all individuals and preserves the United States' critical

infrastructure, including healthcare systems and essential workforce.''

CDC thus urged ``the most comprehensive requirements possible for proof

of vaccination'' and specifically recommended against exceptions to

travel restrictions for specific worker categories as a public health

matter.\11\

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\9\ Id.

\10\ Id.

\11\ Memorandum from CDC to CBP re Public Health Recommendation

for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination at U.S. Land Borders--Addendum

(Jan. 18, 2022).

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Given these recommendations, and after consultation with

interagency partners and consideration of all relevant factors,

including economic considerations, DHS announced the decision of the

Secretary to temporarily restrict travel by noncitizen non-LPRs into

the United States at land POEs along the United States-Canada border by

requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination upon request at arrival.\12\

This requirement was put in place at 12:00 a.m. EST on January 22,

2022, and will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 21, 2022,

unless amended or rescinded prior to that time.

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\12\ See 87 FR 3429 (Jan. 24, 2022); 87 FR 3425 (Jan. 24, 2022)

(parallel Mexico notification).

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CDC's Public Health Assessment and Recommendation To Continue COVID-19

Vaccination Requirement for Entry of Noncitizen Non-LPR Travelers

In considering whether to extend the travel restrictions, DHS

solicited, and CDC provided to DHS, an updated public health assessment

and recommendations regarding the DHS requirement for noncitizen non-

LPRs to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of COVID-19

vaccination for entry at land POEs. CDC sent a memorandum to the

Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection on March 21, 2022,

with its recommendations.\13\ CDC reiterated that vaccination protects

the public from severe illness, including deaths and

hospitalizations.\14\ Of note, a recent CDC study found that, for those

people hospitalized with COVID-19, severe outcomes, as measured by

length of hospital stay and number of intensive care unit stays,

appeared lower at the time when the Omicron variant was initially

surging than during previous periods of high transmission associated

with previous variants--something that CDC attributed in part to wider

vaccination coverage and up-to-date boosters.\15\ This is consistent

with CDC's

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assessment that vaccines remain the most effective public health

measure to protect people from severe illness or death from COVID-19,

slow transmission of COVID-19, and reduce the likelihood of new COVID-

19 variants emerging.\16\

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\13\ See Memorandum from CDC to CBP, Update: Public Health

Recommendation for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination at U.S. Land

Borders under Title 19 (March 21, 2022).

\14\ See Memorandum from CDC to CBP (March 21, 2022).

\15\ COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review: Interpretive Summary for

February 11, 2022, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/past-reports/02112022.html (Feb. 11, 2022); see Memorandum from CDC to

CBP (March 21, 2022).

\16\ COVID-19 Vaccines Work, December 23, 2021. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/effectiveness/work.html

(accessed March. 22, 2022).

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CDC also noted that the U.S. Government's actions and guidance in

response to COVID-19 have evolved over the course of the pandemic as

more scientific information has become available. During earlier phases

of the pandemic, pharmaceutical interventions were unavailable, and the

United States had to instead rely on largely nonpharmaceutical

interventions, including limits on gatherings and school closures,

masking, and testing. Expanded epidemiologic data, advances in

scientific knowledge, and the availability of pharmaceutical

interventions (both vaccines and effective treatments), however, have

permitted many of those early actions to be dialed back in favor of a

more nuanced and narrowly tailored set of tools that provide a less

burdensome means of preventing and controlling COVID-19. In CDC's

judgment, maintaining high vaccination coverage is essential to

sustaining the use of less burdensome measures. To ensure sustained

vaccine coverage, CDC recommends continuing both domestic efforts to

increase vaccine uptake (primary series and booster doses) among U.S.

residents and measures to ensure high rates of vaccination coverage

among persons entering the United States.\17\

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\17\ See Memorandum from CDC to CBP (March 21, 2022).

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Echoing prior assessments, CDC's March 21, 2022, recommendation

``encourages continued implementation of comprehensive requirements for

proof of vaccination for all [noncitizen non-LPRs] seeking entry into

the United States,'' whether by land or by air.\18\ CDC also once again

recommended a ``comprehensive'' proof-of-vaccination requirement and

recommended against ``further exceptions for specific worker categories

at this time,'' as global vaccination rates continue to rise.\19\

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\18\ Id.

\19\ See id.

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Of particular importance to this analysis, COVID-19 vaccines--which

according to CDC are ``the single most important measure'' for

responding to COVID-19 \20\--are widely available and have been

increasingly available for months. As of April 8, 2022, in Canada,

81.39 percent of the entire population was fully vaccinated against

COVID-19, while 85.59 percent of individuals five years and older are

fully vaccinated against COVID-19.\21\ According to the U.S. Department

of State, as of March 28, 2022, Mexico administered at least one

vaccine dose to 85.5 million people (90 percent of the adult target

population) and fully vaccinated 79.6 million (87.8 percent of the

adult target population). Approximately 61.8 percent of Mexico's total

population is fully vaccinated.

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\20\ See Memorandum from CDC to CBP (Dec. 14, 2021).

\21\ Canadian statistics may be found at: https://health-infobase.canada.ca/covid-19/vaccination-coverage/ (accessed Apr. 17,

2022).

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On April 14, 2022, DHS asked CDC whether CDC's March 21, 2022,

recommendations had changed over the preceding three weeks. CDC

responded that its recommendations had not changed. CDC had reviewed

the available data and concluded that its recommendations remain the

same. CDC wrote that it ``encourages continued implementation of

comprehensive requirements for proof of vaccination for all [noncitizen

non-LPRs] seeking entry into the United States for travel or commerce,

whether by land or by air. Doing so will help maintain high vaccination

coverage across the United States, which is essential to sustaining the

advances we have made thus far and have allowed some early actions to

be revised. CDC does not recommend further exceptions for specific

worker categories at this time.'' \22\

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\22\ See Memorandum from CDC to CBP, Update: Public Health

Recommendation for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination at U.S. Land

Borders under Title 19 (Apr. 14, 2022).

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Analysis of Temporary Travel Restrictions Under 19 U.S.C. 1318

DHS has consulted with interagency partners, taking into account

relevant factors, including the above-mentioned CDC public health

assessment, economic considerations, and operational impacts,\23\ and

concludes that a broad COVID-19 vaccination requirement at land POEs

remains necessary and appropriate. In reaching this conclusion, DHS

also reviewed a range of concerns, including those related to potential

impacts on employers seeking H-2A temporary agricultural workers and

entities that employ or rely on long-haul truck drivers engaged in

cross-border transportation of goods. After careful review, DHS has

determined not to provide industry-specific exceptions for the

following two key reasons: (1) Workers engaged in trucking and

agriculture continue to present a public health risk if not vaccinated;

and (2) the vaccination requirement that has been in place since

January 22, 2022, has not materially disrupted cross-border economic

activity, according to data analysis that included input from DHS and

other federal agencies.

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\23\ Consistent with its assessment in January, CBP continues to

assess that a testing option is not operationally feasible given the

significant number of land border crossers that go back and forth on

a daily or near-daily basis, for work or school. A negative COVID-19

test requirement would mean that such individuals would have to get

tested just about every day. This is not currently feasible, given

the cost and supply constraints, particularly in smaller rural

locations. Further, CBP reports additional operational challenges

associated with verifying test results, given the wide variation in

documentation.

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First, even if particular workers do not engage in extended

interaction with others, they still engage in activities that involve

contact with others, thereby increasing the risk of being infected and

spreading COVID-19. It is for this reason, and because vaccines are

widely available, that as a public health matter, CDC once again did

not recommend further exceptions for specific worker categories at this

time.\24\ Such workers also may enter the United States after

contracting COVID-19 elsewhere, become seriously ill after arrival, and

require hospitalization and use of limited healthcare resources as a

result. A COVID-19 vaccination requirement at land POEs helps protect

the health and safety of personnel at the border, other travelers, and

the U.S. communities where these persons may be traveling and spending

time among members of the public. Such a requirement also reduces

potential burdens on local healthcare resources in U.S. communities.

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\24\ See Memorandum from CDC to CBP (Mar. 21, 2022).

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Second, DHS data, as well as that provided by other federal

agencies, does not indicate a material disruption to cross-border

economic activity and movement resulting from the vaccination

requirement imposed in January 2022, including among temporary

agriculture workers and commercial truck drivers. In fact, there has

been an increase, not decrease, in the number of H-2A nonimmigrant

workers admitted to the United States as compared to last year. While

it is possible that there are individual-level effects on a subset of

workers who are not fully vaccinated or their current or prospective

employers, such impacts appear marginal based on the aggregate data.

As shown in Figure 1 (where the vertical line represents the date

the

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vaccination requirement for noncitizen non-LPRs went into full effect),

H-2A admissions this fiscal year generally track seasonal patterns,

which have reflected a longer-term increase in H-2A admissions since

2019, as shown in Figure 2. In fact, as stated above, H-2A admissions

were generally higher between January 22, 2022 and March 31, 2022 when

the COVID-19 vaccination requirement has been in place, as compared to

H-2A admission numbers for the same time in 2021.

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Likewise, there was no significant decrease in border crossings by

commercial truck following the vaccination requirement that went into

effect on January 22, 2022. Figures 3 and 4 cover the months before the

new vaccination requirement was implemented as well as the months when

the new vaccination requirement was implemented. This data shows

regular fluctuations generally consistent with what is seen in data for

the same time in Fiscal Year 2021 and in the months in 2022 before the

new vaccination requirement went into effect. And while the aggregate

number of commercial trucks entering the United States from Canada in

2022 is lower than 2021, this initial decrease predates the

implementation of the new vaccination requirement on January 22, 2022,

and is not mirrored on the Southern border, where commercial truck

traffic appears to have slightly increased in 2022.

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DHS, in consultation with interagency partners, also has considered

the operational effect of these requirements. In the January 2022

Notification, DHS projected minimal short-term operational impact. The

relevant data that DHS and other federal agency partners have analyzed

indicate that these projections were accurate. DHS has closely

monitored wait times at land POEs, examined cross-border movement, and

analyzed available data on border crossings since the vaccination

requirement went into effect at land POEs on January 22, 2022, and has

observed very minimal operational disruptions. As travelers become more

familiar with the vaccination requirement and vaccination rates

continue to increase globally, DHS projects any operational impacts to

further diminish.

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Based on the foregoing analysis and CDC recommendations, with this

Notification, DHS will continue to align COVID-19 travel restrictions

applicable to land POEs with those that apply to incoming international

air travel,\25\ ensuring more consistent application of COVID-19

vaccination requirements across travel domains. As a result, with

limited exception, all noncitizen non-LPRs will be required, upon

request, to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 to enter

the United States.

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\25\ See Presidential Proclamation 10294, supra, at n.5.

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Notice of Action

Following consultation with CDC and other interagency partners, and

after having considered and weighed the relevant factors, I have

determined that the risk of continued transmission and spread of the

virus associated with COVID-19 between the United States and Canada

poses an ongoing ``specific threat to human life or national

interests.'' Accordingly, and consistent with the authority granted in

19 U.S.C. 1318(b)(1)(C) and (b)(2),\26\ I have determined, in

consultation with CDC and other interagency partners, that it is

necessary to respond to the ongoing threat at land POEs along the

United States-Canada border by allowing the processing of travelers to

the United States for only those noncitizen non-LPRs who are ``fully

vaccinated against COVID-19'' and can provide ``proof of being fully

vaccinated against COVID-19'' upon request, as those terms are defined

under Presidential Proclamation 10294 and CDC's implementing Order

(``CDC Order'').\27\ This action does not apply to U.S. citizens, U.S.

nationals, lawful permanent residents of the United States, or American

Indians who have a right by statute to pass the borders of, or enter

into, the United States. In addition, I hereby authorize exceptions to

these restrictions for the following categories of noncitizen non-LPRs:

\28\

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\26\ 19 U.S.C. 1318(b)(1)(C) provides that ``[n]otwithstanding

any other provision of law, the Secretary of the Treasury, when

necessary to respond to a national emergency declared under the

National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) or to a specific

threat to human life or national interests,'' is authorized to

``[t]ake any . . . action that may be necessary to respond directly

to the national emergency or specific threat.'' On March 1, 2003,

certain functions of the Secretary of the Treasury were transferred

to the Secretary of Homeland Security. See 6 U.S.C. 202(2), 203(1).

Under 6 U.S.C. 212(a)(1), authorities ``related to Customs revenue

functions'' were reserved to the Secretary of the Treasury. To the

extent that any authority under section 1318(b)(1) was reserved to

the Secretary of the Treasury, it has been delegated to the

Secretary of Homeland Security. See Treas. Dep't Order No. 100-16

(May 15, 2003), 68 FR 28322 (May 23, 2003). Additionally, 19 U.S.C.

1318(b)(2) provides that ``[n]otwithstanding any other provision of

law, the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, when

necessary to respond to a specific threat to human life or national

interests, is authorized to close temporarily any Customs office or

port of entry or take any other lesser action that may be necessary

to respond to the specific threat.'' Congress has vested in the

Secretary of Homeland Security the ``functions of all officers,

employees, and organizational units of the Department,'' including

the Commissioner of CBP. 6 U.S.C. 112(a)(3).

\27\ 86 FR 61224 (Nov. 5, 2021).

\28\ The exceptions to this temporary restriction are generally

aligned with those outlined in Presidential Proclamation 10294 and

further described in the CDC Order, with modifications to account

for the unique nature of land border operations where advance

passenger information is largely not available.

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Certain categories of persons on diplomatic or official

foreign government travel as specified in the CDC Order;

persons under 18 years of age;

certain participants in certain COVID-19 vaccine trials as

specified in the CDC Order;

persons with medical contraindications to receiving a

COVID-19 vaccine as specified in the CDC Order;

persons issued a humanitarian or emergency exception by

the Secretary of Homeland Security;

persons with valid nonimmigrant visas (excluding B-1

[business] or B-2 [tourism] visas) who are citizens of a country with

limited COVID-19 vaccine availability, as specified in the CDC Order;

members of the U.S. Armed Forces or their spouses or

children (under 18 years of age) as specified in the CDC Order; and,

persons whose entry would be in the U.S. national

interest, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security.

In administering such exceptions, DHS will not require the Covered

Individual Attestation currently in use by CDC for noncitizen non-LPRs

seeking to enter the United States by air travel, or similar form, but

DHS may, in its discretion, require any person invoking an exception to

this requirement to provide proof of eligibility consistent with

documentation requirements outlined in CDC's Technical

Instructions.\29\

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\29\ CDC, Technical Instructions for Implementing Presidential

Proclamation Advancing the Safe Resumption of Global Travel During

the COVID-19 Pandemic and CDC's Order, https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/order-safe-travel/technical-instructions.html (last

reviewed Mar. 3, 2022).

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This Notification does not apply to air or sea travel (except

ferries and pleasure craft) between the United States and Canada. This

Notification does apply to passenger/freight rail, passenger ferry

travel, and pleasure boat travel between the United States and Canada.

These restrictions address temporary conditions and may be amended or

rescinded at any time, including to conform these restrictions to any

intervening changes in Presidential Proclamation 10294 and implementing

CDC orders and consistent with the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1318.\30\

In conjunction with interagency partners, DHS will closely monitor the

effect of the requirements discussed herein, and the Secretary will, as

needed and warranted, exercise relevant authority in support of the

U.S. national interest.

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\30\ Although past notifications of this type have sunset on

dates certain, DHS has determined, in light of the analysis above,

to instead engage in regular reviews of this policy, guided by

public health data and other relevant inputs. In determining whether

and when to lift the requirements imposed under this notification,

DHS anticipates that it will take account of whether Presidential

Proclamation 10294 remains in effect, among all relevant factors,

consistent with the requirements of 19 U.S.C. 1318. DHS anticipates

lifting the requirements imposed under this notification no later

than when Presidential Proclamation 10294 is revoked.

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I intend for this Notification and the restrictions discussed

herein to be given effect to the fullest extent allowed by law. In the

event that a court of competent jurisdiction stays, enjoins, or sets

aside any aspect of this action, on its face or with respect to any

person, entity, or class thereof, any portion of this action not

determined by the court to be invalid or unenforceable should otherwise

remain in effect for the duration stated above.

This action is not a rule subject to notice and comment under the

Administrative Procedure Act. It is exempt from notice and comment

requirements because it concerns ongoing discussions with Canada and

Mexico on how best to control COVID-19 transmission over our shared

borders and therefore directly ``involve[s] . . . a . . . foreign

affairs function of the United States.'' Even if this action were

subject to notice and comment, there is good cause to dispense with

prior public notice and the opportunity to comment. Given the ongoing

public health emergency caused by COVID-19, including the rapidly

evolving circumstances associated with fluctuating rates of infection

due to the Omicron variant and other potential future variants, it

would be impracticable and contrary to the public health, and the

public interest, to delay the issuance and effective date of this

action.

The CBP Commissioner is hereby directed to prepare and distribute

appropriate guidance to CBP personnel on the implementation of the

temporary

[[Page 24055]]

measures set forth in this Notification. Further, the CBP Commissioner

may, on an individualized basis and for humanitarian or emergency

reasons or for other purposes in the national interest, permit the

processing of travelers to the United States who would otherwise be

subject to the restrictions announced in this Notification.

Alejandro N. Mayorkas,

Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

[FR Doc. 2022-08743 Filed 4-21-22; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 9112-FP-P