The agency added that the B1 and B2 visas, used by many of the donors, are designed for short business stays that promote international commerce.
“Because selling plasma is a domestic fee-for-services transaction that takes place entirely in the United States, it lacks a nexus to international commerce, which is a defining feature of permissible B-1 visa activity,” it said.
With the agency’s formal guidance now preventing Mexican citizens from using the B1 or B2 visas to enter the US to give plasma, it has rejected the argument the policy would hurt the business interests of CSL and Grifols.
The agency has argued that the biotechs could increase their donor fees, so they are more attractive to US donors to cover the gap, but have not done so.
“Plaintiffs chose to offer compensation that is relatively unattractive to domestic plasma donors, and they are free to increase their rates to offset any drop in foreign donors,” it argued.
Back in August, CSL chief executive Paul Perreault said the pause in overseas donors also hurt border towns, which get significant economic activity from the passage of people across the border.
The application for an injunction against the ban was heard on October 20. A person with knowledge of the subject said the companies were awaiting a decision in the coming days.
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