May 13, 2020 - Politics & Policy

U.S. granted humanitarian protection to 2 migrants at southern border over 7 weeks

A migrant at the border.

A migrant carrying a toddler stands in front of the barrier at the U.S.-Mexico border. Photo: Herika Martinez/AFP

The U.S. has admitted two people seeking humanitarian protection at the southern border since March 21, amid new coronavirus restrictions from the Trump administration, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services data first obtained by the Washington Post and confirmed by Axios.

The big picture: Pointing to the public health threat presented by COVID-19, the administration quickly expelled more than 20,000 people who crossed the border illegally using emergency powers provided by a CDC order. Those individuals include children and asylum-seekers who are usually protected by U.S. law.

Homeland Security officials have said the restrictions are needed to minimize the number of people held in border patrol facilities, where the virus can spread easily.

  • USCIS interviewed 59 candidates between March 21 and May 13, a USCIS official told Axios. It rejected 54 of those applicants, while three cases are pending.

Axios' Stef Kight contributed to this report.

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