May 19 (UPI) -- The United States on Tuesday moved to extend restrictions on border travel to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield issued an order extending Title 42 health restrictions on people migrating to the United States through Mexico and Canada "until he determines the serious danger from COVID-19 has ceased."
The CDC first issued the order March 20 and issued an extension April 20. The agency plans to review information about the status of COVID-19 and the associated risks to public health every 30 days to ensure the measure remains necessary, the order states.
"This order has been one of the most critical tools the Department has used to prevent the further spread of the virus and to protect the American people, DHS frontline officers and those in their care and custody from COVID-19," Acting Director of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf said.
Canadian Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness tweeted Tuesday that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had reached a mutual agreement with the United States to extend the restrictions prohibiting non-essential travel between the two countries.
Andrea Flores, deputy director of immigration policy for the American Civil Liberties Union, condemned the indefinite extension of the border restrictions which she said "have nothing to do with" preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus.
"The administration refuses to heed the advice of public health experts to protect immigrants, government employees and the general public from sickness and death, including by releasing people from ICE and CBP detention and suspending civil enforcement," Flores said. "Instead, the president is hellbent on exploiting a public health crisis to achieve his long-held goal of ending asylum on the border."