March 20, 2020

The public deserves to know if President Trump is using the coronavirus pandemic to push for legal changes that would advance his own anti-immigrant agenda. 

At a coronavirus press conference, Trump hinted at using the authority of the Surgeon General to bar some asylum seekers from entering the US, in the name of public health. Additionally, the Department of Justice reportedly has proposed that Congress change the current asylum laws to exclude those with COVID-19 or anyone on the presidential travel ban list. It is of urgent concern that the public know the extent to which Trump is manipulating the power of the Surgeon General and Congress to advance his own political agenda during a public health crisis. 

CREW has requested records from the Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services on directives that might inform if these recommendations are rooted in science and medicine or instead are an attempt to advance the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant agenda. If Trump is taking advantage of this pandemic to advance anti-immigrant policy, then the public needs to know to what extent other agencies are also complicit.

Read the requests here, here and here.