President Donald Trump is considering blocking U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents from re-entering the country if they are suspected of being infected with the new coronavirus, according to multiple reports Monday.
The Times reports the proposal would give the government power to block a citizen or legal resident from crossing the border if an official "reasonably believed that the individual either may have been exposed to or is infected with the communicable disease."
The proposal also reportedly says any order keeping citizens and legal residents out must include protections to ensure Constitutional rights are not infringed upon.
It's not clear how long a citizen or legal resident could be kept out of the country, according to the Times, but the draft reportedly says it would be "limited in duration" and would apply "only in the rarest of circumstances."
The rule would apply to all ports of entry, including airports and the northern and southern borders. But it reportedly specifically cites the prevalence of the coronavirus in Mexico as a reason for the rule and says Mexicans have traveled to the U.S. for treatment.
According to a Johns Hopkins University tracker, Mexico had a total of 480,278 current or previous cases of COVID-19. The U.S. has more than 5 million cases -- more than 10 times Mexico's total.
The draft relies on existing legal authority by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the Times.