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In response to the Trump administration’s indefinite extension of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) order that effectively ends asylum at the border, Noah Gottschalk, Oxfam America Humanitarian Policy Lead, made the following statement:


“Oxfam is dismayed that the Trump administration continues to use the pretext of public health to double down on its longstanding anti-refugee and anti-immigrant agenda. The indefinite extension of the border closure endangers the lives of asylum seekers, full stop. People seeking safe haven are being sent back into harm’s way, their health and lives at risk as they are forced to stay in dangerous Mexican border towns that have little capacity to support and protect them.

"This blanket policy of turning away asylum seekers, including children, at the US-Mexico border is not grounded in scientific evidence but in xenophobia, pure and simple. As public health experts – including former CDC officials – have recognized, the US has the capacity to protect public health without violating its legal obligation to uphold the right to seek asylum.

"Seeking refuge from violence and persecution is the very definition of essential travel. Already, more than 20,000 people have been turned away – a number that will only continue to grow. We urge the Trump administration to reverse this harmful policy and uphold the United States’ legal and moral obligation to protect vulnerable people in need of refuge.”

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