Trump says undocumented immigrants can get tested for coronavirus without fear of deportation
President Trump on Sunday said undocumented immigrants should be able to get tested for coronavirus without fear of arrest or deportation.
“The answer is yes, we will do those tests,” Trump said during a White House briefing.
“You could say illegal alien, you could say illegal immigrant, you could say whatever you want to use your definition of what you’er talking about… Yes we will test that person,” he continued. “Because I think it’s important we test that person, and we don’t’ want to send that person back into wherever we’re going to be sending that person.”
Vice President Pence noted at the briefing that Customs and Border Protection issued guidance that agents will not target emergency rooms or health clinics in search of undocumented immigrants, barring extraordinary circumstances.
The assurance from Trump that undocumented immigrants could seek a test for the virus without fear comes after he spent his first few years in office seeking to clamp down on immigration and warning of the dangers that migrants pose. He has pushed to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and imposed policies turning back asylum-seekers.
Trump initially deferred the question to Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who said all people with symptoms should be tested, noting that the virus “doesn’t judge based on where you’re from.”
Public health experts have pushed for expanded coronavirus testing to allow officials to better identify who needs to quarantine to curb the spread of the disease.
There are more than 30,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S. and more than 400 Americans with the virus have died.
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