WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security says a public health order that imposes strict regulation of the country’s borders has been extended.
The new order announced Tuesday by Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf does not put a 30-day limit on the restrictions as before. It says instead that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will review the latest health data every 30 days to ensure the restrictions are still needed.
Homeland Security officials had signaled in recent days that the order should be extended but that the decision would be up to health authorities. It had been scheduled to expire May 20.
The order enables U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to immediately expel anyone stopped trying to enter the country without authorization, including people seeking asylum. DHS officials say the COVID-19 pandemic makes it too dangerous to hold people in their detention facilities.
Immigrant advocates say it deprives people of the legal right to seek asylum under international law.