Update (1750ET): Citing the worsening COVID chaos on the southern side of the US-Mexico border, specifically the death from COVID of Chihuahua's interior minister, President Trump has just renewed his attempts to fight the pandemic by limiting immigration. In a landmark EO that critics say is almost guaranteed to provoke a court challenge, Trump has said that American citizens and legal residents can be barred from returning to the US via unilateral action.
Here's more from the NYT, which scored a leaked copy of the EO ahead of time:
President Trump is considering new immigration regulations that would allow border officials to temporarily block American citizens and legal permanent residents from returning to the United States from abroad if authorities believe they may be infected with the coronavirus.
In recent months, Mr. Trump has imposed sweeping rules that ban entry by foreigners into the United States, citing the risk of allowing the virus to spread from hot spots abroad. But those rules have exempted two categories of people attempting to return: American citizens and non-citizens who have already established legal residence.
Now, a draft regulation would expand the government’s power to prevent entry by citizens and legal residents in individual, limited circumstances. Federal agencies have been asked to submit feedback on the proposal to the White House by Tuesday, though it is unclear when it might be approved or announced.
The order will use existing authority vested in the CDC to issue these bans, which the admin said would be enacted only in the rarest of circumstances.
Under the proposal, which relies on existing legal authorities of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the government could block a citizen or legal resident from crossing the border into the United States if an official “reasonably believes that the individual either may have been exposed to or is infected with the communicable disease."
The draft, parts of which were obtained by The Times, explicitly says that any order blocking citizens and legal permanent residents must “include appropriate protections to ensure that no Constitutional rights are infringed.” And it says that citizens and legal residents cannot be blocked as an entire class of people.
The documents appear not to spell out how long a citizen or legal resident would be required to remain outside of the United States
However, just before starting tonight's press briefing, Trump was pulled from the podium amid reports of shots fired nearby, though those appear to be unsubstantiated, and the White House press corp says Trump will return to the podium momentarily.
And @POTUS is apparently returning to the briefing room momentarily.— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) August 10, 2020
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In what will be the latest in a string of 1730ET presidential press briefings, President Trump will address reporters Monday evening on a day that was characterized by Democrats return to the negotiating table, as blue-state governors complain about not being able to afford some aspects of the Trump executive order as some states' benefit funds teeter on the edge of insolvency.
White House News Conference today at 5:30 P.M. Enjoy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2020
As governors like Gavin Newsom complain about how their states "can't afford" the 25% match stipulated in Trump's executive order, requiring states to kick in at least some money to cover the extended enhanced benefit, Trump will likely confront many questions about the EO, and whether there will be a supplemental deal with Democrats.
*NEWSOM SAYS TRUMP UNEMPLOYMENT PLAN WOULD COST CA $700M WEEKLY— zerohedge (@zerohedge) August 10, 2020
*NEWSOM SAYS CALIFORNIA CAN'T AFFORD TRUMP'S UNEMPLOYMENT PLAN
Meanwhile, the bilateral relationship with China will likely loom large following the events of earlier today, as Beijing slapped sanctions on GOP lawmakers including Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton and arrested a British Citizen and media mogul.
Watch live below: