WASHINGTON, DC – Taking a page out of the Trump playbook, President Joe Biden today created his own no-entry list of foreign immigrants to America. Today, Biden blacklisted South Africans, Brits, Brazilians and the Irish from entering America. The move is similar to a federal travel lockdown instituted by Former President Trump in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a move of political chess, former President Trump expired his restrictions upon leaving office.
“The Federal Government must act swiftly and aggressively to combat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),” Biden said. “The national emergency caused by the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States continues to pose a grave threat to our health and security. As of January 20, 2021, the United States had experienced more than 24 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 400,000 COVID-19 deaths. It is the policy of my Administration to implement science-based public health measures, across all areas of the Federal Government, to prevent further spread of the disease,” Biden said today.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), within the Department of Health and Human Services, working in close coordination with the Department of Homeland Security, has determined that the Republic of South Africa is experiencing widespread, ongoing person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, including a variant strain of the virus known as B.1.351. The World Health Organization has reported that the Republic of South Africa has over 1,400,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Another variant strain, known as B.1.1.7, is widely circulating and has been traced to the United Kingdom. Furthermore, a third variant strain, which is known as B.188.8.131.52 and may impact the potential for re-infection, has been identified in Brazil. Based on developments with respect to the variants and the continued spread of the disease, CDC has reexamined its policies on international travel and, after reviewing the public health situations within the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom (excluding overseas territories outside of Europe), the Republic of Ireland, the Federative Republic of Brazil, and the Republic of South Africa, has concluded that continued and further measures are required to protect the public health from travelers entering the United States from those jurisdictions.
“In my Executive Order of January 21, 2021, entitled “Promoting COVID-19 Safety in Domestic and International Travel,” I directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services, including through the Director of CDC, and in coordination with the Secretary of Transportation (including through the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration) and the Secretary of Homeland Security (including through the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration), to further examine certain current public health precautions for international travel and take additional appropriate regulatory action, to the extent feasible and consistent with CDC guidelines and applicable law,” Biden said. “While that review continues, and given the determination of CDC, working in close coordination with the Department of Homeland Security, described above, I have determined that it is in the interests of the United States to take action to restrict and suspend the entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of noncitizens of the United States (“noncitizens”) who were physically present within the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom (excluding overseas territories outside of Europe), the Republic of Ireland, the Federative Republic of Brazil, and the Republic of South Africa during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States.”
The order bans non-citizens and immigrants from those nations identified from entering the country.
The entry into the United States, as immigrants or nonimmigrants, of noncitizens who were physically present within the Republic of South Africa during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States, is hereby suspended.