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Decision on asylum seekers looms as COVID-19 cases drop

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Eric Gay
/
AP Photo

COVID-19 rates are plunging among migrants crossing the border from Mexico as the Biden administration faces a decision to end or extend sweeping restrictions on asylum that are aimed at limiting the virus’ spread.

Lower rates raise more questions about scientific grounds for a public health order that has caused migrants to be expelled from the United States more than 1.7 million times since March 2020 without a chance to request asylum.

While there's no aggregate rate for migrants, test results from several major corridors for illegal border crossings suggest it is well below levels that have triggered concerns among U.S. officials.