Undocumented aliens should stay away as COVID-19 rages in the United States
Nolan Rappaport, opinion contributor

© Getty Images

People thinking this is a good time to try to get into the United States should think again.

The United States currently has the third highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world. Only China and Italy have more. The United States has more than 50,000 cases, with approximately 600 deaths, and it is still in the initial phase of the epidemic.

In addition to the risk of getting sick, the U.S. is taking drastic actions that are particularly hard on foreign visitors and undocumented immigrants.

New authority for the CDC director

The focus on fighting the pandemic includes the border.

The Department of Health and Human Services just published an interim final rule — effective immediately — that authorizes the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to suspend the entry of aliens from foreign countries and places he designates.

The director can issue such a suspension when he determines that:

1. By reason of the existence of a communicable disease in a foreign country or place, there is serious danger of the communicable disease being brought into the United States, and
2. This danger would be so increased by admitting people from such a country or place, that a suspension of admitting them into the United States is required in the interest of the public health.

(The term “place” refers to any location specified by the director, including any carrier, and “carrier” means a ship, aircraft, train, road vehicle, or other means of transportation.)

The United States has entered into agreements with Canada and Mexico to limit all non-essential travel across shared borders. “Non-essential” means travel that is considered tourism or is recreational in nature.

CBP will no longer detain illegal immigrants apprehended at the border in its holding facilities. It will return them to the country they entered from — Canada or Mexico. If this is not possible, CBP will return them to their country of origin.

Read more at https://thehill.com/opinion/immigrat...ages-in-the-us

Nolan Rappaport was detailed to the House Judiciary Committee as an Executive Branch Immigration Law Expert for three years. He subsequently served as an immigration counsel for the Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims for four years. Prior to working on the Judiciary Committee, he wrote decisions for the Board of Immigration Appeals for 20 years. Follow him on Twitter @NolanR1 or at https://nolanrappaport.blogspot.com