Department of Homeland Security moves towards new measures
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is considering turning away asylum seekers and anyone who has crossed the southern border illegally as part of a plan to tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The idea, which is being developed by DHS staff, still has more additional work before it’s presented to President Donald Trump for a final decision.
Trump holds the authority to do whatever is necessary to protect the American public from this potentially deadly disease, a DHS spokesperson said.
The official said:
“President Trump is 100 percent committed to protecting the American people from coronavirus, and all options are in the table.”
Trump is a staunch proponent of more robust border security and has supported a targeted approach to limiting illegal immigration.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would be subject to carry out the directive if the DHS plan is approved.
Earlier this week, Neon Nettle reported Mexico was calling for its northern border with the United States to be closed off to stop Americans from spreading coronavirus into their country.
Currently, there are over 2,000 cases of COVID-19 infection in the U.S., with over 40 deaths so far, as it continues to spread rapidly.
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— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) March 17, 2020
In Mexico, however, only 16 cases have been confirmed and no deaths. Speaking during a press conference Friday, Mexican Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said:
“Mexico wouldn’t bring the virus to the United States; rather, the United States would bring it here.”
“The possible flow of coronavirus would come from the north to the south.”
“If it were technically necessary, we would consider mechanisms of restriction or stronger surveillance,” he said.
Mexico has yet to take measures such as closing schools or banning entry to people coming from places with high numbers of coronavirus cases, according to the Daily Mail.