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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.

Go deeper

Aug 20, 2020 - Health

Study: Kids may contribute to COVID-19 community spread more than previously thought

Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A study published Thursday found that children may play a larger role in the spread of COVID-19 than previously realized, intensifying concerns as schools grapple with whether to reopen.

Why it matters: The findings, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, coincide with changing scientific research analyzing children's ability to spread the virus, despite showing mild or no symptoms.

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Updated 18 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden readies massive shifts in policy for his first days in office.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.
  6. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.