On 13 October 2020 – under the Trump administration – the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order preventing immigrants who potentially had COVID-19 from entering or remaining in the US. In July 2021 and August 2021, the same federal agency – this time under the Biden administration – issued two amended orders excepting unaccompanied alien children from the application of the October 2020 order and ensuing immigration policy.
These latter orders were challenged by Texas, one of the border States, i.e. those facing the higher risk of COVID-19 transmission by immigrants.
By decision of 4 March 2022, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas upheld Texas’ arguments that the Government failed to show that excepting unaccompanied alien children does not spread—or increase the risk of spreading—COVID-19 to the interior of the United States. The Court added that there was also no proof that the CDC had adequately considered Texas’ interests—including its interest in preserving public health and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in areas close to the Mexican border—when it adopted the rules.