April 07, 2020
National Politics Latest News | Coronavirus | Bangor Metro | Christopher Cassidy | Today's Paper

Illegal border crossings down 50 percent amid pandemic

Eric Gay | AP
Eric Gay | AP
A worker passes a closed lane at the entrance to the McAllen Hidalgo International Bridge on Saturday in Hidalgo, Texas. Vehicle and foot traffic are down after Mexico and the U.S. announced Friday that they would prohibit all "non-essential" travel across their shared border as part of efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus.

As of noon Sunday, March 22, 89 Maine residents have been confirmed positive for the coronavirus, according to the state. Click here for the latest coronavirus news, which the BDN has made free for the public. You can support this mission by purchasing a digital subscription.

WASHINGTON — Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said illegal border crossings have dropped by 50 percent after restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Trump administration is turning back anyone crossing illegally, among other restrictions.

Wolf said because migrants often come without identification paperwork it’s unclear how to trace their medical history and to determine if they are arriving from an area hard-hit by the virus.

But the Trump administration has also made restriction immigration a top priority, regardless of the pandemic and had already been sending thousands of asylum seekers back to Mexico to wait out their cases. The nation’s immigration courts are still operating with limited closures and some hearings delayed.

Wolf said on Fox News “Sunday Morning Futures” that the borders between the U.S. and Mexico and U.S. and Canada are not shut down, but are only allowing for necessary trade and travel.

He said there’s more than $2 billion combined trade at both borders and it’s important to keep that going. But he said anyone coming for tourism should stay home.

 


Have feedback? Want to know more? Send us ideas for follow-up stories.

You may also like