Daily Wire, March 18, 2020
The United States will crack down on illegal immigration across its southern border, the New York Times reports Wednesday, and has pledged to “swiftly turn back” all unauthorized individuals, including those with foreign passports and those seeking asylum.
The news comes as the Trump administration considers a full border lockdown, drastically limiting border crossings not just from Mexico, but also from Canada. The United States has already taken measures to halt the flow of both immigrants and visitors from Europe and Asia.
Mexico has yet to take drastic measures to control the spread of the dreaded coronavirus and Trump administration officials fear that, though few cases have been reported, immigrants, visitors, and asylum seekers who travel from Central America and through Mexico may carry or come into contact with the virus.
Agents of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency will be told to “immediately return anyone to Mexico” who crosses without the proper documentation or who “attempts to cross the southwestern border between the legal ports of entry,” per the NYT.
At the moment, captured illegal immigrants and asylum seekers who cross somewhere other than a legal port of entry are being held for a short time in American detention facilities, then processed and sent to “remain in Mexico” while they typically await a hearing on their asylum claim. Border Patrol agents, however, say the current setup is fraught with potential danger. If held for any length of time, immigrants carrying coronavirus could spread the disease to others in detention facilities on either side of the border or even to Border Patrol agents.