(CNN) — The administration of Donald Trump is considering ways to restrict entry at the border between U.S and Mexico that could include U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents for concerns about the coronavirusaccording to a source familiar with the matter.
It is the administration’s latest attempt to seal US borders, based on the virus. In March, the administration invoked a public health law to swiftly expel the migrants, including children, who are detained at the border. That action, including a host of other travel restrictions, has been extended over the course of the pandemic.
The options the administration is weighing would likely also be up to authorities at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the source said. The New York Times first reported on the possibility of preventing Americans from returning to the US on a limited basis amid fears that they may be infected with the coronavirus.
“CDC career professionals are working on a comprehensive approach to pandemic control both now and in the future,” an administration official with knowledge of the ongoing discussions told CNN. “The regulation is in draft form and subject (to) change. This is an ongoing process and any report on it would be extremely premature. ‘
CNN contacted the CDC and the Department of Homeland Security, which declined to comment.
A draft memorandum obtained by The New York Times It says that any move to block citizens and legal permanent residents must “include appropriate protections to ensure that constitutional rights are not violated” and would apply “only in the rarest of circumstances.”
Travel restrictions imposed by the administration during the pandemic have excluded US citizens and legal residents. For example, the United States limited non-essential travel at land ports of entry with Canada and Mexico. Americans cross borders regularly for a variety of reasons, including work, school attendance, family visits, and tourism.
Any measure directed at US citizens and lawful permanent residents, in particular, will likely face legal challenges. Following the report of The New York Times Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) immediately called the measure “unconstitutional.”
«The administration of Trump has implemented one border ban after another, most recently on children and asylum seekers, using COVID-19 as an excuse, while abysmally failing to control the virus in the United States, ”said Omar Jadwat, director of the Children’s Rights Project. Immigrants from the ACLU, in a statement.
“The rumored decree would be another serious mistake in a year that has already seen too many,” Jadwat added.
CNN’s Nikki Carvajal contributed to this report.