Trump Administration May Use Infectious-Disease Risk As Reason To Deny Asylum To More Immigrants
A proposed rule would allow federal agencies to block people from countries with widespread communicable disease from seeking asylum in the U.S. “It is difficult to predict the impact that another emerging or re-emerging communicable disease would have on the United States public health system,” reads the regulation notice.
US Rule Targets Disease-Stricken Countries To Deny Asylum
The Trump administration on Wednesday proposed empowering border authorities to deny asylum to people from countries with widespread communicable disease, its latest in a string of regulations before the November elections to dramatically raise the bar on who qualifies for humanitarian protections. The Homeland Security and Justice departments said in a joint proposal that denying asylum to people from high-risk countries would combat disease in the United States, in some cases stopping it before it reaches American soil. Their argument rests on experiences with the coronavirus pandemic. (Spagat, 7/8)
Trump Admin Plans To Block Asylum Seekers From U.S. By Citing Public Health Risk Of COVID-19
The rule would apply to immigrants seeking asylum and those seeking "withholding of removal" — a protected immigration status for those who have shown they may well face danger if returned to their home countries. The determination of whether migrants pose a public health risk would be made at the "credible fear" screening — essentially the first interview of the application process to determine an immigrant has a credible fear of returning to their home country — not in immigration court. (Ainsley and Kaplan, 7/8)
In other news about the federal government —
Governors Demand Trump Renew Public Health Emergency
The National Governors Association (NGA) is demanding Wednesday that President Trump’s administration renew the public health emergency past its July 25 deadline, although officials have indicated it will likely be extended. The organization of the 55 U.S. governors of states and territories called on officials to officially extend the public health emergency declared for the coronavirus pandemic, saying it is “far from over.” (Coleman, 7/8)
Kaiser Health News and Politifact HealthCheck:
Could Trump’s Push To Undo The ACA Cause Problems For COVID Survivors? Biden Thinks So.
The same day the Trump administration reaffirmed its support of a lawsuit that would invalidate all of the Affordable Care Act, Joe Biden sharply warned that the suit endangers millions of Americans. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said the law is even more important now, more than a decade after it was enacted, as the COVID-19 epidemic sweeps the U.S. The virus has killed more than 130,000, and Biden noted that some who survive may have long-lasting health problems. (Appleby, 7/9)