President Donald Trump is looking to temporarily bar US citizens and permanent residents from entering the country if they are suspected of having the coronavirus, The New York Times reported on Monday.
Trump proposed that citizens be denied entry to the US if a border official “reasonably believes that the individual either may have been exposed to or is infected with the communicable disease.”
The proposal was sent to federal agencies that have until Tuesday to provide feedback, The Times reported.
The president had previously banned nonresidents from several countries, including many European nations from entering the US due to coronavirus concerns.
The Times obtained a copy of the proposal draft and reported that the document clearly says that any order that would block a legal resident or citizen from coming into the country has to “include appropriate protections to ensure that no Constitutional rights are infringed.”
The proposal however did not specify how long someone would be barred from entering the US.
An official familiar with the discussions told Insider the proposal is part of the Trump administration’s overall approach to mitigating the spread of the virus, and could change before it is finalized.
Some countries, including South Korea, have implemented mandatory quarantines for those traveling into the country to help limit the spread of the virus.
According to The Times, the document specifically addresses the border with Mexico, a region that Trump has tried to control since the beginning of his first term, as part of a broader agenda to limit immigration. The proposal claims that the coronavirus has strained Mexico’s healthcare system and is forcing Mexicans to seek care in the US, the newspaper reported.
Mexico has so far recorded more than 480,000 coronavirus cases with over 52,000 deaths. In the US, more than 5 million cases have been recorded and over 163,000 people have died from COVID-19, according to data from John Hopkins.
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