CDC extends order restricting border crossing amid claims of regular release of COVID-positive migrants

CDC extended Trump-era Title 42 policy of turning away migrants due to coronavirus concerns

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention extended an order limiting entry into the U.S. of noncitizens looking to cross the country's northern and southern land borders due to concern over spreading coronavirus, while officials have claimed the order had often been ignored in the past.

The continuation of the Trump-era policy, commonly referred to as Title 42, is meant to curb the spread of COVID-19 by keeping migrants – except for unaccompanied minors and some families – from entering the country.

BORDER PATROL UNION OFFICIAL WARNS COVID-POSITIVE MIGRANTS BEING RELEASED INTO US ‘DAY IN, DAY OUT’

"This order was issued on August 2, 2021 and shall remain in effect until the CDC Director determines that the danger of further introduction of COVID-19 into the United States from covered noncitizens has ceased to be a serious danger to the public health, and the Order is no longer necessary to protect the public health," the CDC said in a press release Monday. The agency said it will review the situation every 60 days "to ensure that the Order remains necessary to protect the public health."

The extension comes amid claims that migrants with COVID-19 are being released into the U.S.

"We’re releasing people out of the door day in and day out with actual positive tests for COVID and more keep popping up," Chris Cabrera, a vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, told Fox News on Saturday. Cabrera also said that people who do not exhibit symptoms are not tested at all.

BIDEN ADMINISTRATION RESUMES FAST-TRACK DEPORTATION FLIGHTS FOR MIGRANTS DENIED ASYLUM

More than 188,000 migrants were encountered in June, taking the number of migrants encountered this fiscal year to more than a million. While more than 100,000 of those resulted in expulsions under Title 42 public health protections, the U.S. is releasing many migrants, including family units, into the U.S.

Last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an order barring providing ground transportation of migrants "who have been detained by CBP for crossing the border illegally or who would have been subject to expulsion under the Title 42 order." Abbott's order cited "President Biden’s failure to enforce the Title 42 order," claiming that it "is having a predictable and potentially catastrophic effect on public health in Texas."

"The dramatic rise in unlawful border crossings has also led to a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases among unlawful migrants who have made their way into our state, and we must do more to protect Texans from this virus and reduce the burden on our communities," Abbott said in a statement upon issuing the order. "This Executive Order will reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure in our communities."  

In this Wednesday, June 16, 2021, file photo, a Texas Department of Public Safety officer in Del Rio, Texas, directs a group of migrants who crossed the border and turned themselves in. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

In this Wednesday, June 16, 2021, file photo, a Texas Department of Public Safety officer in Del Rio, Texas, directs a group of migrants who crossed the border and turned themselves in. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File) (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

The United Nations, meanwhile, urged the Biden administration to end Title 42.

"I appeal to the government of the United States to swiftly lift the public health-related asylum restrictions that remain in effect at the border and to restore access to asylum for the people whose lives depend on it, in line with international legal and human rights obligations," U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in a statement.

"The Title 42 order has resulted in the expulsions of hundreds of thousands of people to Mexico or their countries of origin, denying their access to asylum procedures," the statement said. "Guaranteed access to safe territory and the prohibition of pushbacks of asylum-seekers are core precepts of the 1951 Refugee Convention and refugee law, which governments are required to uphold to protect the rights and lives of refugees. The expulsions have also had serious humanitarian consequences in northern Mexico."

The Department of Homeland Security responded to the CDC's extension of the order, stating that it will cooperate with the extension while distancing itself from the decision.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

"As part the United States’ COVID-19 mitigation efforts, DHS will continue to process individuals in accordance with the CDC’s updated Title 42 Order. Title 42 is not an immigration authority, but a public health authority, and its continued use is dictated by CDC and governed by the CDC's analysis of public health factors," DHS said in a statement.

"Under Title 42, DHS continues to expel the majority of single adults, and, to the extent possible, families encountered at the Southwest Border," the statement continued.

Last week, DHS resumed flights to Central America for migrants who are deemed not to have a valid asylum case.

Fox News' Adam Shaw contributed to this report.