Sources close to the case have reported that the US government has devised a plan to lift restrictions on asylum applications at the border with Mexico on May 23, which were imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The decision, which was not yet final, would end the use of public health grounds to relieve the United States of its obligations, under national laws and international treaties, to grant asylum to victims of persecution.
Lifting these restrictions in May will give border guards time to prepare, officials said. However, the delay remains unacceptable to some Democrats and activists, who say the United States is using the pandemic as an excuse to evade its asylum obligations.
On the other hand, the decision raises the possibility that more migrants will try to cross the border at a time when the number of migrants there is already high. The Department of Homeland Security reported Tuesday that about 7,100 immigrants attempt to cross each day, compared to an average of 5,900 immigrants in February and a number on track to equal or exceed records recorded in previous years.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in late January extended its decision to ban nursing homes for another two months. The decision will have to be renewed this week, but the government has not made a final decision and an announcement is expected in the coming days.
Sources familiar with the matter read a draft report on the go. They spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
Derin reported from New York and Spagat from San Diego. Washington correspondent Michael Balsamo and Zeke Miller contributed.
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