‘We’re not going to go zero to 60 and it’s going to go back to the way it was pre-COVID overnight…’
(Liberty Headlines) While radical leftists have no problem with suppressing the rights of U.S. citizens, the Trump administration may test their limits by insisting that strict policies remain intact at the U.S.–Mexico border.
As states start to ease their restrictions, that may result in an ironic about-face for open-border advocates to start to downplay the dangers of widespread mobility in the time of pandemic.
Many on the Left have insisted, with little evidence to support, that rushing back to normal poses risk of a boomerang effect in the receding coronavirus crisis.
But skeptics of the draconian quarantine orders’ effectiveness in stemming the virus’s spread maintain that it is a ploy to push greater government regulation and dependency, as well as a possible attempt to throw the November election in Democrats’ favor with an ambitious and brazen call for mail-only ballots.
The Trump administration rightfully tightened security during the height of the quarantine, forcing asylum-seeking migrants to wait in Mexico.
The policy has long been a part of his border-enforcement agenda, but prior to the health crisis, activists had fought it tooth-and-nail in the courts.
The president closed the borders with Mexico and Canada to all-but-essential traffic in March. He granted CBP the power to quickly expel migrants, citing the potential threat to public health, on March 21. He extended the executive order for 30 days last month.
On Thursday, Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said it may need to be extended to protect public health.
Morgan said U.S. health authorities should consider that the virus may not yet have peaked in Mexico and Central America, along with the potential for it to spread in Border Patrol detention facilities and beyond, before determining whether pre-outbreak enforcement can resume.
“Even if we talk about the United States opening up it’s a phased approach,” Morgan told reporters on a conference call to discuss statistics showing a steep drop in border apprehensions. “We’re not going to go zero to 60 and it’s going to go back to the way it was pre-COVID overnight.”
The Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will recommend whether to extend the border policy. But Morgan said the agencies should consider longer-term changes to many aspects of life in the U.S.
He noted the way that airlines are trying to maintain social distancing by keeping seats open and sports teams are considering holding games without fans in attendance.
“If we are having those discussions I hope we are going to have the same discussions about border security with respect to infectious disease and what that should look like after COVID-19,” he said.
Authorities have so far apprehended two people with confirmed cases of the virus at the border, he said.
The first person, from India, was apprehended near Calexico, California, on April 23 and was showing signs of illness. The second was a man from Mexico who was detained this week as he tried to enter the U.S. to seek medical attention.
Morgan said the Mexican man was sent back over the border and the Indian was turned over to the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The globalist activism group Doctors Without Borders, which has supported law-defying migrant caravans in the past, criticized the U.S. this week for expelling asylum-seekers to Mexico when that country has no reliable system to ensure quarantines or isolation for deported people.
The total number of migrants attempting to enter the U.S. without legal authorization in the month of April was about 16,700, down about 50 percent from March and 88 percent from a year earlier.
The monthly tally was the lowest since April 2017, when authorities arrested or stopped 15,798 people on at the Mexican border.
Adapted from reporting by Associated Press.