Since November 2019, 300,000 people have been caught attempting to enter the United States illegally through its border with Mexico. Of those, half came from countries where the coronavirus (COVID-19) has been detected.
These numbers came from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as reported by the Washington Examiner. The illegals who were caught by the Border Patrol included people from China, Italy, Iran, and South Korea – all of which have significant numbers of confirmed coronavirus cases.
The DHS says that these criminals pose a risk to national security due to “the sheer volume of migrants, the nationalities represented at the border from coronavirus-affected countries, the unique health dangers of journey to the border, the crowded conditions of DHS border facilities, and the strain on the healthcare system.”
Currently, the US has a policy known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, which requires that illegal immigrants be kept in Mexico while their asylum applications are being reviewed. Some wish to lift these Protocols and allow migrants to proceed to detention centers in the US immediately, but the Trump administration maintains that the current policy is for the benefit of all. Were migrants to be allowed into the centers immediately, they would quickly fill up, and then the asylum-seekers would be forced to spend all their time together in close quarters, exposing everyone in the vicinity to their communicable illnesses.
This would in turn pose a health risk to law enforcement agents, center personnel, the American public, and, of course, the migrants themselves. The risk is not only from the coronavirus but all common diseases.
The Trump administration has taken a hard line when it comes to dealing with illegal immigration, and now, with the coronavirus crisis dominating world affairs, it is clear that the President was a prophet who understood the importance of protecting the borders – not only to keep Americans safe from criminality and terrorism, but from health risks as well.
We should hope that the havoc the epidemic has wreaked on the world will stand as proof that a strong border is an essential feature of a country that is a true home, safe and secure, for its citizens.