Thursday, April 16, 2020

Coronavirus is shutting down illegal immigration

When President Trump declared a national emergency last year related to the obscene numbers of illegal immigrants flooding into the country, he had the right idea in mind. But it looks like he might have failed to pick the right kind of emergency.
Call it a technicality.
The Washington Post reported Thursday that the latest national emergency declaration, the one related to the public health scare over the China-born coronavirus, has been far more effective at keeping illegal immigrants out than the emergency declaration that was meant to do that very thing in February 2018.
From the Washington Post, which reports that new emergency authority has allowed border agents to turn back and clear out close to 20,000 illegal immigrants in U.S. custody all in less three weeks: 
The measures have allowed the agency to quickly turn away most unauthorized migrants — sending them back across the U.S.-Mexico border. The moves have dramatically slashed the number of detainees held in border stations, where they fear the coronavirus could spread, the officials said. CBP has fewer than 100 detainees in custody, down from nearly 20,000 at this time last year during the border crisis, officials said.
Since the implementation of the rapid expulsions, migration levels have fallen to near their lowest point in decades, with unlawful border crossings down 56 percent, said acting CBP commissioner Mark Morgan. He also acknowledged that the United States has all but closed its borders to asylum seekers who are fleeing persecution, including those who attempt to enter legally at U.S. ports of entry. Who knew that all we needed to control our jungle of an immigration system was to have a public health crisis?
A spokesman for U.S. Customs and Border Protection told me Friday that because the emergency declaration deals with the general public health and not immigration directly, it gives agents the power to turn away nearly everyone who illegally crosses into the U.S., even unaccompanied minors, who have presented the biggest problem over the past five years.
"This has to do with we don’t want [potentially infected] people in our facilities," said Matthew Dyman, a spokesman for the CBP. "We don’t have the capabilities to treat people, to screen them, and we definitely can’t social distance in what are essentially small jail cells."
Read the rest from Eddie Scarry HERE.

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