In April, 15,862 people were apprehended at the southwest border of the United States. But with an order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention implemented because of the coronavirus, roughly 90% of them, 14,416 in total, were processed as Title 42 cases and immediately expelled to Mexico. “Numbers released by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) show that 90 percent of all apprehensions were treated as Title 42 cases — subject to immediate expulsion per a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order,” The Hill reports.
In March, 30,002 people were apprehended crossing the border illegally; only 6,444 were sent back to Mexico,
The CDC notes:
The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services has statutory responsibility for preventing the introduction, transmission, and spread of communicable diseases in the United States. Under its delegated authority, the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine works to fulfill this responsibility through a variety of activities, including
- the operation of Quarantine Stations at ports of entry
- establishment of standards for medical examination of persons destined for the United States, and
- administration of interstate and foreign quarantine regulations, which govern the international and interstate movement of persons, animals, and cargo.
The legal foundation for these activities is found in Titles 8 and 42 of the U.S. Code and relevant supporting regulations.
Title 42 states how the law can be applied to illegal immigrants:
Regulations prescribed under this section shall not provide for the apprehension, detention, or conditional release of individuals except for the purpose of preventing the introduction, transmission, or spread of such communicable diseases as may be specified from time to time in Executive orders of the President upon the recommendation of the Secretary, in consultation with the Surgeon General … Regulations prescribed under this section may provide for the apprehension and examination of any individual reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease in a qualifying stage and (A) to be moving or about to move from a State to another State; or (B) to be a probable source of infection to individuals who, while infected with such disease in a qualifying stage, will be moving from a State to another State. Such regulations may provide that if upon examination any such individual is found to be infected, he may be detained for such time and in such manner as may be reasonably necessary.
For purposes of this subsection, the term “State” includes, in addition to the several States, only the District of Columbia. (2) For purposes of this subsection, the term “qualifying stage”, with respect to a communicable disease, means that such disease— (A) is in a communicable stage; or (B) is in a precommunicable stage, if the disease would be likely to cause a public health emergency if transmitted to other individuals.
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