Plasma Donors at the Border: An International Concern

07/01/2021

September 21, 2022

As of September 19, 2022, the United States District Court has granted a preliminary injunction that prevents U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) from enforcing a ban that affects Mexican nationals entering the United States with B1/B2 visas to donate plasma.

This injunction comes about due to the efforts of CSL Behring and Grifols, two companies that have plasma collection centers in the U.S and use donated plasma to create plasma-derived therapies. 

The Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF), the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA), and other organizations that have communities that rely on plasma-derived therapies took part by sending letters to the Department of Homeland Security on the negative consequences of banning donation by B1/B2 visa holders and filed amicus briefs for both of the original lawsuits to revoke the ban.

While we are thrilled that this detrimental ban is being rectified and that Mexican nationals will be welcomed back to help save the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals who rely on plasma and plasma-derived therapies, it is important to note that at this time the injunction is temporary. We will continue to provide updates as they are announced. To keep informed, sign up to receive emails and updates from Plasma Hero

Want to hear from some of the donors? Read our Plasma Hero Stories for Edgar, Luis, and Dehiri and Jesus, who all regularly donated in the U.S. before the ban took effect.

Read the latest update from the Immune Deficiency Foundation here

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On June 15, 2021, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced an immediate reversal of a policy regarding permissible activities Mexican nationals with B1/B2 visas. In this case, it means that they are no longer permitted into the United States to donate plasma. 

ProPublica shared an article called ‘The U.S. Is Closing a Loophole That Lured Mexicans Over the Border to Donate Blood Plasma for Cash’ that commented on opinions about the U.S. Customs and Border Protection restricting Mexican nationals from donating plasma in the United States. Unfortunately, this ProPublica piece (and other articles by local publications) portray plasma donation in an unfavorable light. 

Many organizations, like the Immune Deficiency Foundation, APLUS, and PPTA are working hard to reach decision-makers to let them know how detrimental this practice will be to individuals who rely on plasma. 

We know that people donate plasma safely every day. That plasma is then used to save the lives of those around the world through plasma-derived therapies or through emergency medical needs. In fact, plasma collected in the United States provides plasma-based therapies for citizens all over the world, including Mexico itself.

We know that those who donate plasma are heroes, and without the ongoing donations of Mexican heroes, the supply of plasma will continue to decline. We’ve said this before, but now more than ever, we need heroes to step up and donate. 

We need all the help we can get, and if heroes across the border are willing to answer the call, we should let them. 

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