The country's top immigration judge issued and then reversed an order for immigration courts to take down coronavirus public service announcement posters issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Miami Herald reported.
The initial order, issued Monday by acting Chief Immigration Judge Christopher Santoro in an email to judges and staff, reportedly read in part, “Per our leadership, the CDC flyer is not authorized for posting in the immigration courts. If you see one (attached), please remove it. Thank you.”
The flyers explain, in English and Spanish, the proper CDC-approved procedures to minimize microbial contamination.
Immigration judges are employees of the Department of Justice (DOJ) through the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).
According to the Herald, a DOJ spokesman contacted the newspaper four hours after the story's publication to say, "the signs shouldn’t have been removed. It’s now being rectified.”
EOIR did not immediately return a request for comment on this story.
The National Association of Immigration Judges (NAIJ) — the union that represents immigration judges — took to Twitter Monday to denounce the EOIR action.
The NAIJ Twitter account said the association "had recommended to immigration judges that they post in courthouses the English and Spanish language versions of the CDC's 'Stop the Spread of Germs' and 'Symptoms of Coronavirus Disease 2019' posters."
The order, and its rescission, comes in the wake of complaints from Democrats and immigration activists that Trump administration immigration policies could increase the risk for transmission of infectious disease, including coronavirus.