Notification of Temporary Travel Restrictions Applicable to Land Ports of Entry and Ferries Service Between the United States and Mexico, 74604-74606 [2020-25866]

Download as PDF 74604 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 226 / Monday, November 23, 2020 / Rules and Regulations risk of continued transmission and spread of the virus associated with COVID–19 between the United States and Canada poses an ongoing ‘‘specific threat to human life or national interests.’’ U.S. and Canadian officials have mutually determined that non-essential travel between the United States and Canada poses additional risk of transmission and spread of the virus associated with COVID–19 and places the populace of both nations at increased risk of contracting the virus associated with COVID–19. Moreover, given the sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus, returning to previous levels of travel between the two nations places the personnel staffing land ports of entry between the United States and Canada, as well as the individuals traveling through these ports of entry, at increased risk of exposure to the virus associated with COVID–19. Accordingly, and consistent with the authority granted in 19 U.S.C. 1318(b)(1)(C) and (b)(2),7 I have determined that land ports of entry along the U.S.-Canada border will continue to suspend normal operations and will only allow processing for entry into the United States of those travelers engaged in ‘‘essential travel,’’ as defined below. Given the definition of ‘‘essential travel’’ below, this temporary alteration in land ports of entry operations should not interrupt legitimate trade between the two nations or disrupt critical supply chains that ensure food, fuel, medicine, and other critical materials 7 19 U.S.C. 1318(b)(1)(C) provides that ‘‘[n]otwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of the Treasury, when necessary to respond to a national emergency declared under the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) or to a specific threat to human life or national interests,’’ is authorized to ‘‘[t]ake any . . . action that may be necessary to respond directly to the national emergency or specific threat.’’ On March 1, 2003, certain functions of the Secretary of the Treasury were transferred to the Secretary of Homeland Security. See 6 U.S.C. 202(2), 203(1). Under 6 U.S.C. 212(a)(1), authorities ‘‘related to Customs revenue functions’’ were reserved to the Secretary of the Treasury. To the extent that any authority under section 1318(b)(1) was reserved to the Secretary of the Treasury, it has been delegated to the Secretary of Homeland Security. See Treas. Dep’t Order No. 100–16 (May 15, 2003), 68 FR 28322 (May 23, 2003). Additionally, 19 U.S.C. 1318(b)(2) provides that ‘‘[n]otwithstanding any other provision of law, the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, when necessary to respond to a specific threat to human life or national interests, is authorized to close temporarily any Customs office or port of entry or take any other lesser action that may be necessary to respond to the specific threat.’’ Congress has vested in the Secretary of Homeland Security the ‘‘functions of all officers, employees, and organizational units of the Department,’’ including the Commissioner of CBP. 6 U.S.C. 112(a)(3). VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Nov 20, 2020 Jkt 253001 reach individuals on both sides of the border. For purposes of the temporary alteration in certain designated ports of entry operations authorized under 19 U.S.C. 1318(b)(1)(C) and (b)(2), travel through the land ports of entry and ferry terminals along the United StatesCanada border shall be limited to ‘‘essential travel,’’ which includes, but is not limited to— • U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the United States; • Individuals traveling for medical purposes (e.g., to receive medical treatment in the United States); • Individuals traveling to attend educational institutions; • Individuals traveling to work in the United States (e.g., individuals working in the farming or agriculture industry who must travel between the United States and Canada in furtherance of such work); • Individuals traveling for emergency response and public health purposes (e.g., government officials or emergency responders entering the United States to support federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial government efforts to respond to COVID–19 or other emergencies); • Individuals engaged in lawful crossborder trade (e.g., truck drivers supporting the movement of cargo between the United States and Canada); • Individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel; • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces, returning to the United States; and • Individuals engaged in militaryrelated travel or operations. The following travel does not fall within the definition of ‘‘essential travel’’ for purposes of this Notification— • Individuals traveling for tourism purposes (e.g., sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events). At this time, this Notification does not apply to air, freight rail, or sea travel between the United States and Canada, but does apply to passenger rail, passenger ferry travel, and pleasure boat travel between the United States and Canada. These restrictions are temporary in nature and shall remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. EST on December 21, 2020. This Notification may be amended or rescinded prior to that time, based on circumstances associated with the specific threat.8 The Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is hereby 8 DHS is working closely with counterparts in Mexico and Canada to identify appropriate public health conditions to safely ease restrictions in the future and support U.S. border communities. PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 directed to prepare and distribute appropriate guidance to CBP personnel on the continued implementation of the temporary measures set forth in this Notification. The CBP Commissioner may determine that other forms of travel, such as travel in furtherance of economic stability or social order, constitute ‘‘essential travel’’ under this Notification. Further, the CBP Commissioner may, on an individualized basis and for humanitarian reasons or for other purposes in the national interest, permit the processing of travelers to the United States not engaged in ‘‘essential travel.’’ The Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Chad F. Wolf, having reviewed and approved this document, has delegated the authority to electronically sign this document to Chad R. Mizelle, who is the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the General Counsel for DHS, for purposes of publication in the Federal Register. Chad R. Mizelle, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. [FR Doc. 2020–25865 Filed 11–20–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9112–FP–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY U.S. Customs and Border Protection 19 CFR Chapter I Notification of Temporary Travel Restrictions Applicable to Land Ports of Entry and Ferries Service Between the United States and Mexico Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. ACTION: Notification of continuation of temporary travel restrictions. AGENCY: This document announces the decision of the Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) to continue to temporarily limit the travel of individuals from Mexico into the United States at land ports of entry along the United States-Mexico border. Such travel will be limited to ‘‘essential travel,’’ as further defined in this document. DATES: These restrictions go into effect at 12 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on November 22, 2020 and will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. EST on December 21, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carl Jaigobind, Office of Field Operations SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\23NOR1.SGM 23NOR1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 226 / Monday, November 23, 2020 / Rules and Regulations Coronavirus Coordination Cell, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at 202–325–0840. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background On March 24, 2020, DHS published notice of the Secretary’s decision to temporarily limit the travel of individuals from Mexico into the United States at land ports of entry along the United States-Mexico border to ‘‘essential travel,’’ as further defined in that document.1 The document described the developing circumstances regarding the COVID–19 pandemic and stated that, given the outbreak and continued transmission and spread of the virus associated with COVID–19 within the United States and globally, the Secretary had determined that the risk of continued transmission and spread of the virus associated with COVID–19 between the United States and Mexico posed a ‘‘specific threat to human life or national interests.’’ The Secretary later published a series of notifications continuing such limitations on travel until 11:59 p.m. EST on November 21, 2020.2 The Secretary has continued to monitor and respond to the COVID–19 pandemic. As of the week of November 15, there are over 53 million confirmed cases globally, with over 1.3 million confirmed deaths.3 There are over 11.1 million confirmed and probable cases within the United States,4 over 287,000 confirmed cases in Canada,5 and over 997,000 confirmed cases in Mexico.6 1 85 FR 16547 (Mar. 24, 2020). That same day, DHS also published notice of the Secretary’s decision to temporarily limit the travel of individuals from Canada into the United States at land ports of entry along the United States-Canada border to ‘‘essential travel,’’ as further defined in that document. 85 FR 16548 (Mar. 24, 2020). 2 See 85 FR 67275 (Oct. 22, 2020); 85 FR 59669 (Sept. 23, 2020); 85 FR 51633 (Aug. 21, 2020); 85 FR 44183 (July 22, 2020); 85 FR 37745 (June 24, 2020); 85 FR 31057 (May 22, 2020); 85 FR 22353 (Apr. 22, 2020). DHS also published parallel notifications of the Secretary’s decisions to continue temporarily limiting the travel of individuals from Canada into the United States at land ports of entry along the United States-Canada border to ‘‘essential travel.’’ See 85 FR 67276 (Oct. 22, 2020); 85 FR 59670 (Sept. 23, 2020); 85 FR 51634 (Aug. 21, 2020); 85 FR 44185 (July 22, 2020); 85 FR 37744 (June 24, 2020); 85 FR 31050 (May 22, 2020); 85 FR 22352 (Apr. 22, 2020). 3 WHO, Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19) Weekly Epidemiological Update (Nov. 17, 2020), available at https://www.who.int/publications/m/ item/weekly-epidemiological-update---17november-2020. 4 CDC, COVID Data Tracker (last updated Nov. 17, 2020), available at https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-datatracker/. 5 WHO, COVID–19 Weekly Epidemiological Update (Nov. 17, 2020). 6 Id. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Nov 20, 2020 Jkt 253001 Notice of Action Given the outbreak and continued transmission and spread of COVID–19 within the United States and globally, the Secretary has determined that the risk of continued transmission and spread of the virus associated with COVID–19 between the United States and Mexico poses an ongoing ‘‘specific threat to human life or national interests.’’ U.S. and Mexican officials have mutually determined that non-essential travel between the United States and Mexico poses additional risk of transmission and spread of the virus associated with COVID–19 and places the populace of both nations at increased risk of contracting the virus associated with COVID–19. Moreover, given the sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus, returning to previous levels of travel between the two nations places the personnel staffing land ports of entry between the United States and Mexico, as well as the individuals traveling through these ports of entry, at increased risk of exposure to the virus associated with COVID–19. Accordingly, and consistent with the authority granted in 19 U.S.C. 1318(b)(1)(C) and (b)(2),7 I have determined that land ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border will continue to suspend normal operations and will only allow processing for entry into the United States of those travelers engaged in ‘‘essential travel,’’ as defined below. Given the definition of ‘‘essential travel’’ below, this temporary alteration in land ports of entry operations should not interrupt legitimate trade between 7 19 U.S.C. 1318(b)(1)(C) provides that ‘‘[n]otwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of the Treasury, when necessary to respond to a national emergency declared under the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) or to a specific threat to human life or national interests,’’ is authorized to ‘‘[t]ake any . . . action that may be necessary to respond directly to the national emergency or specific threat.’’ On March 1, 2003, certain functions of the Secretary of the Treasury were transferred to the Secretary of Homeland Security. See 6 U.S.C. 202(2), 203(1). Under 6 U.S.C. 212(a)(1), authorities ‘‘related to Customs revenue functions’’ were reserved to the Secretary of the Treasury. To the extent that any authority under section 1318(b)(1) was reserved to the Secretary of the Treasury, it has been delegated to the Secretary of Homeland Security. See Treas. Dep’t Order No. 100–16 (May 15, 2003), 68 FR 28322 (May 23, 2003). Additionally, 19 U.S.C. 1318(b)(2) provides that ‘‘[n]otwithstanding any other provision of law, the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, when necessary to respond to a specific threat to human life or national interests, is authorized to close temporarily any Customs office or port of entry or take any other lesser action that may be necessary to respond to the specific threat.’’ Congress has vested in the Secretary of Homeland Security the ‘‘functions of all officers, employees, and organizational units of the Department,’’ including the Commissioner of CBP. 6 U.S.C. 112(a)(3). PO 00000 Frm 00011 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 74605 the two nations or disrupt critical supply chains that ensure food, fuel, medicine, and other critical materials reach individuals on both sides of the border. For purposes of the temporary alteration in certain designated ports of entry operations authorized under 19 U.S.C. 1318(b)(1)(C) and (b)(2), travel through the land ports of entry and ferry terminals along the United StatesMexico border shall be limited to ‘‘essential travel,’’ which includes, but is not limited to— • U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to the United States; • Individuals traveling for medical purposes (e.g., to receive medical treatment in the United States); • Individuals traveling to attend educational institutions; • Individuals traveling to work in the United States (e.g., individuals working in the farming or agriculture industry who must travel between the United States and Mexico in furtherance of such work); • Individuals traveling for emergency response and public health purposes (e.g., government officials or emergency responders entering the United States to support federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial government efforts to respond to COVID–19 or other emergencies); • Individuals engaged in lawful crossborder trade (e.g., truck drivers supporting the movement of cargo between the United States and Mexico); • Individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel; • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces, returning to the United States; and • Individuals engaged in militaryrelated travel or operations. The following travel does not fall within the definition of ‘‘essential travel’’ for purposes of this Notification— • Individuals traveling for tourism purposes (e.g., sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events). At this time, this Notification does not apply to air, freight rail, or sea travel between the United States and Mexico, but does apply to passenger rail, passenger ferry travel, and pleasure boat travel between the United States and Mexico. These restrictions are temporary in nature and shall remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. EST on December 21, 2020. This Notification may be amended or rescinded prior to that time, based on circumstances associated with the specific threat.8 8 DHS is working closely with counterparts in Mexico and Canada to identify appropriate public E:\FR\FM\23NOR1.SGM Continued 23NOR1 74606 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 226 / Monday, November 23, 2020 / Rules and Regulations The Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is hereby directed to prepare and distribute appropriate guidance to CBP personnel on the continued implementation of the temporary measures set forth in this Notification. The CBP Commissioner may determine that other forms of travel, such as travel in furtherance of economic stability or social order, constitute ‘‘essential travel’’ under this Notification. Further, the CBP Commissioner may, on an individualized basis and for humanitarian reasons or for other purposes in the national interest, permit the processing of travelers to the United States not engaged in ‘‘essential travel.’’ The Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Chad F. Wolf, having reviewed and approved this document, has delegated the authority to electronically sign this document to Chad R. Mizelle, who is the Senior Official Performing the Duties of the General Counsel for DHS, for purposes of publication in the Federal Register. Chad R. Mizelle, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Homeland Security. [FR Doc. 2020–25866 Filed 11–20–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9112–FP–P DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG–2020–0684] RIN 1625–AA00 Safety Zone; Breton Sound, New Orleans, LA Coast Guard, DHS. Temporary final rule. AGENCY: ACTION: The Coast Guard is establishing a temporary safety zone for certain navigable waters of Breton Sound, LA. The safety zone encompasses all navigable waters within a 100-yard radius of the LOBO Durango platform riser in Breton Sound Block 49 at 29 27.000 N, 089 17.682 W. The temporary safety zone is necessary to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment from potential hazards created by emergency repair operations to the damaged structure. Entry of vessels or persons into this zone is prohibited unless specifically SUMMARY: health conditions to safely ease restrictions in the future and support U.S. border communities. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:19 Nov 20, 2020 Jkt 253001 authorized by the Captain of the Port Sector New Orleans or an authorized representative. DATES: This rule is effective without actual notice from November 23, 2020 through December 4, 2020. For the purposes of enforcement, actual notice will be used from November 10, 2020 until November 23, 2020. ADDRESSES: To view documents mentioned in this preamble as being available in the docket, go to https:// www.regulations.gov, type USCG–2020– 0684 in the ‘‘SEARCH’’ box and click ‘‘SEARCH.’’ Click on Open Docket Folder on the line associated with this rule. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this rule, call or email Lieutenant Commander Corinne Plummer, Sector New Orleans, U.S. Coast Guard; telephone 504–365–2246, email Corinne.M.Plummer@uscg.mil. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background Information and Regulatory History The Coast Guard is issuing this temporary rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment pursuant to authority under section 4(a) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) (5 U.S.C. 553(b)). This provision authorizes an agency to issue a rule without prior notice and opportunity to comment when the agency for good cause finds that those procedures are ‘‘impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.’’ Under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for not publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) with respect to this rule because it is impracticable. It is impracticable to publish an NPRM because we must establish this temporary safety zone as soon as possible and lack sufficient time to provide a reasonable comment period and then consider those comments before issuing the rule. Under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3), the Coast Guard finds that good cause exists for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Delaying the effective date of this rule would be contrary to public interest because immediate action is needed to respond to the potential safety hazards associated with the emergency repairs on/near LOBO Durango platform riser. PO 00000 Frm 00012 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 III. Legal Authority and Need for Rule The Coast Guard is issuing this rule under authority in 46 U.S.C. 70034 (previously 33 U.S.C. 1231). The Captain of the Port Sector New Orleans (COTP) has determined that potential hazards associated with emergency repair operations, consisting of securing and repairing the damaged LOBO Durango structure, will be of a safety concern for anyone within a 100-yard radius of the structure, located at approximately 29 27.000 N, 089 17.682 W, Breton Sound, Block 49. This rule is necessary to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment on the navigable waters within the safety zone while the repairs are being carried out. IV. Discussion of the Rule This rule establishes a safety zone starting November 10, 2020 until approximately December 4, 2020, or until repairs are complete, whichever comes first. The temporary safety zone will encompass all navigable waters within 100-yards radius of the LOBO Durango structure located in Breton Sound, Block 49, at approximately 29 27.000 N, 089 17.682 W. The duration of the zone is intended to protect personnel, vessels, and the marine environment in these navigable waters while the structure is being repaired. No vessel or person will be permitted to enter the safety zone without obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. Vessels requiring entry into this safety zone must request permission from the COTP or a designated representative. They may be contacted on VHF–FM Channel 16 or 67 or by telephone at (504) 365– 2200. Persons and vessels permitted to enter this safety zone must transit at their slowest safe speed and comply with all lawful directions issued by the COTP or the designated representative. The COTP or a designated representative will inform the public of the enforcement times and date for this safety zone through Broadcast Notices to Mariners (BNMs), Local Notices to Mariners (LNMs), and/or Marine Safety Information Bulletins (MSIBs), as appropriate. V. Regulatory Analyses We developed this rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes and Executive orders, and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors. A. Regulatory Planning and Review Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and E:\FR\FM\23NOR1.SGM 23NOR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 226 (Monday, November 23, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 74604-74606]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-25866]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

19 CFR Chapter I


Notification of Temporary Travel Restrictions Applicable to Land 
Ports of Entry and Ferries Service Between the United States and Mexico

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; 
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Department of Homeland 
Security.

ACTION: Notification of continuation of temporary travel restrictions.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This document announces the decision of the Secretary of 
Homeland Security (Secretary) to continue to temporarily limit the 
travel of individuals from Mexico into the United States at land ports 
of entry along the United States-Mexico border. Such travel will be 
limited to ``essential travel,'' as further defined in this document.

DATES: These restrictions go into effect at 12 a.m. Eastern Standard 
Time (EST) on November 22, 2020 and will remain in effect until 11:59 
p.m. EST on December 21, 2020.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carl Jaigobind, Office of Field 
Operations

[[Page 74605]]

Coronavirus Coordination Cell, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) 
at 202-325-0840.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    On March 24, 2020, DHS published notice of the Secretary's decision 
to temporarily limit the travel of individuals from Mexico into the 
United States at land ports of entry along the United States-Mexico 
border to ``essential travel,'' as further defined in that document.\1\ 
The document described the developing circumstances regarding the 
COVID-19 pandemic and stated that, given the outbreak and continued 
transmission and spread of the virus associated with COVID-19 within 
the United States and globally, the Secretary had determined that the 
risk of continued transmission and spread of the virus associated with 
COVID-19 between the United States and Mexico posed a ``specific threat 
to human life or national interests.'' The Secretary later published a 
series of notifications continuing such limitations on travel until 
11:59 p.m. EST on November 21, 2020.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ 85 FR 16547 (Mar. 24, 2020). That same day, DHS also 
published notice of the Secretary's decision to temporarily limit 
the travel of individuals from Canada into the United States at land 
ports of entry along the United States-Canada border to ``essential 
travel,'' as further defined in that document. 85 FR 16548 (Mar. 24, 
2020).
    \2\ See 85 FR 67275 (Oct. 22, 2020); 85 FR 59669 (Sept. 23, 
2020); 85 FR 51633 (Aug. 21, 2020); 85 FR 44183 (July 22, 2020); 85 
FR 37745 (June 24, 2020); 85 FR 31057 (May 22, 2020); 85 FR 22353 
(Apr. 22, 2020). DHS also published parallel notifications of the 
Secretary's decisions to continue temporarily limiting the travel of 
individuals from Canada into the United States at land ports of 
entry along the United States-Canada border to ``essential travel.'' 
See 85 FR 67276 (Oct. 22, 2020); 85 FR 59670 (Sept. 23, 2020); 85 FR 
51634 (Aug. 21, 2020); 85 FR 44185 (July 22, 2020); 85 FR 37744 
(June 24, 2020); 85 FR 31050 (May 22, 2020); 85 FR 22352 (Apr. 22, 
2020).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Secretary has continued to monitor and respond to the COVID-19 
pandemic. As of the week of November 15, there are over 53 million 
confirmed cases globally, with over 1.3 million confirmed deaths.\3\ 
There are over 11.1 million confirmed and probable cases within the 
United States,\4\ over 287,000 confirmed cases in Canada,\5\ and over 
997,000 confirmed cases in Mexico.\6\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ WHO, Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) Weekly 
Epidemiological Update (Nov. 17, 2020), available at https://www.who.int/publications/m/item/weekly-epidemiological-update---17-november-2020.
    \4\ CDC, COVID Data Tracker (last updated Nov. 17, 2020), 
available at https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/.
    \5\ WHO, COVID-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update (Nov. 17, 2020).
    \6\ Id.
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Notice of Action

    Given the outbreak and continued transmission and spread of COVID-
19 within the United States and globally, the Secretary has determined 
that the risk of continued transmission and spread of the virus 
associated with COVID-19 between the United States and Mexico poses an 
ongoing ``specific threat to human life or national interests.''
    U.S. and Mexican officials have mutually determined that non-
essential travel between the United States and Mexico poses additional 
risk of transmission and spread of the virus associated with COVID-19 
and places the populace of both nations at increased risk of 
contracting the virus associated with COVID-19. Moreover, given the 
sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus, returning to 
previous levels of travel between the two nations places the personnel 
staffing land ports of entry between the United States and Mexico, as 
well as the individuals traveling through these ports of entry, at 
increased risk of exposure to the virus associated with COVID-19. 
Accordingly, and consistent with the authority granted in 19 U.S.C. 
1318(b)(1)(C) and (b)(2),\7\ I have determined that land ports of entry 
along the U.S.-Mexico border will continue to suspend normal operations 
and will only allow processing for entry into the United States of 
those travelers engaged in ``essential travel,'' as defined below. 
Given the definition of ``essential travel'' below, this temporary 
alteration in land ports of entry operations should not interrupt 
legitimate trade between the two nations or disrupt critical supply 
chains that ensure food, fuel, medicine, and other critical materials 
reach individuals on both sides of the border.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ 19 U.S.C. 1318(b)(1)(C) provides that ``[n]otwithstanding 
any other provision of law, the Secretary of the Treasury, when 
necessary to respond to a national emergency declared under the 
National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) or to a specific 
threat to human life or national interests,'' is authorized to 
``[t]ake any . . . action that may be necessary to respond directly 
to the national emergency or specific threat.'' On March 1, 2003, 
certain functions of the Secretary of the Treasury were transferred 
to the Secretary of Homeland Security. See 6 U.S.C. 202(2), 203(1). 
Under 6 U.S.C. 212(a)(1), authorities ``related to Customs revenue 
functions'' were reserved to the Secretary of the Treasury. To the 
extent that any authority under section 1318(b)(1) was reserved to 
the Secretary of the Treasury, it has been delegated to the 
Secretary of Homeland Security. See Treas. Dep't Order No. 100-16 
(May 15, 2003), 68 FR 28322 (May 23, 2003). Additionally, 19 U.S.C. 
1318(b)(2) provides that ``[n]otwithstanding any other provision of 
law, the Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, when 
necessary to respond to a specific threat to human life or national 
interests, is authorized to close temporarily any Customs office or 
port of entry or take any other lesser action that may be necessary 
to respond to the specific threat.'' Congress has vested in the 
Secretary of Homeland Security the ``functions of all officers, 
employees, and organizational units of the Department,'' including 
the Commissioner of CBP. 6 U.S.C. 112(a)(3).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For purposes of the temporary alteration in certain designated 
ports of entry operations authorized under 19 U.S.C. 1318(b)(1)(C) and 
(b)(2), travel through the land ports of entry and ferry terminals 
along the United States-Mexico border shall be limited to ``essential 
travel,'' which includes, but is not limited to--
     U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents returning to 
the United States;
     Individuals traveling for medical purposes (e.g., to 
receive medical treatment in the United States);
     Individuals traveling to attend educational institutions;
     Individuals traveling to work in the United States (e.g., 
individuals working in the farming or agriculture industry who must 
travel between the United States and Mexico in furtherance of such 
work);
     Individuals traveling for emergency response and public 
health purposes (e.g., government officials or emergency responders 
entering the United States to support federal, state, local, tribal, or 
territorial government efforts to respond to COVID-19 or other 
emergencies);
     Individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade (e.g., 
truck drivers supporting the movement of cargo between the United 
States and Mexico);
     Individuals engaged in official government travel or 
diplomatic travel;
     Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the spouses and 
children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces, returning to the United 
States; and
     Individuals engaged in military-related travel or 
operations.
    The following travel does not fall within the definition of 
``essential travel'' for purposes of this Notification--
     Individuals traveling for tourism purposes (e.g., 
sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events).
    At this time, this Notification does not apply to air, freight 
rail, or sea travel between the United States and Mexico, but does 
apply to passenger rail, passenger ferry travel, and pleasure boat 
travel between the United States and Mexico. These restrictions are 
temporary in nature and shall remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. EST on 
December 21, 2020. This Notification may be amended or rescinded prior 
to that time, based on circumstances associated with the specific 
threat.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ DHS is working closely with counterparts in Mexico and 
Canada to identify appropriate public health conditions to safely 
ease restrictions in the future and support U.S. border communities.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

[[Page 74606]]

    The Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is 
hereby directed to prepare and distribute appropriate guidance to CBP 
personnel on the continued implementation of the temporary measures set 
forth in this Notification. The CBP Commissioner may determine that 
other forms of travel, such as travel in furtherance of economic 
stability or social order, constitute ``essential travel'' under this 
Notification. Further, the CBP Commissioner may, on an individualized 
basis and for humanitarian reasons or for other purposes in the 
national interest, permit the processing of travelers to the United 
States not engaged in ``essential travel.''
    The Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Chad F. Wolf, having 
reviewed and approved this document, has delegated the authority to 
electronically sign this document to Chad R. Mizelle, who is the Senior 
Official Performing the Duties of the General Counsel for DHS, for 
purposes of publication in the Federal Register.

Chad R. Mizelle,
Senior Official Performing the Duties of the General Counsel, U.S. 
Department of Homeland Security.
[FR Doc. 2020-25866 Filed 11-20-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9112-FP-P