U.S. President Donald Trump has ordered the closure of all U.S.-Mexico borders except for essential travel in an effort to limit travel restrictions to limit the spread of the new coronavirus,media TechCrunch reported. The move follows an announcement earlier this week that the U.S. and Canada have agreed to jointly close the common border for non-essential travel for at least 30 days, while remaining open for emergency, necessary commercial and commercial traffic.
As CNN reported earlier this week, Trump has also taken steps to reduce border crossings with Mexico and taken other steps to stop immigrants and asylum seekers. The United States also issued a “do not travel” warning to its citizens on Thursday, which widely advised against travel to any international destination. Mr. Trump also said that before the pandemic progressed, internal travel restrictions were not impossible.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Friday the closure of the U.S.-Mexico border, noting that it was decided by cooperation with the Mexican government. Earlier Friday, Mr. Trump said the United States and Mexico would suspend “non-essential travel” at all ports of entry that were not related to trade, business, education and medical purposes. He added that Mexico is also suspending air travel from Europe, which would also help “protect america’s southern border.”
Mr. Trump added that the Canadian-Mexican border is treated equally in the case of actions to restrict cross-border travel. The border closure between the United States and Mexico will take effect on Saturday, March 21.
At midnight on Saturday, the U.S. will also implement the Cdc’s recommendation to immediately issue a blanket denial of entry to anyone without legal entry documents along the northern and southern U.S. borders. This replaces the existing processing and detention practices at border customs and border protection (CBP) facilities that attempt to cross the border. Trump later clarified that all those who attempted to cross the border would return to their countries of origin.
This is an extreme step that the White House claims is to address the fact that border facilities fail to follow CDC best practices to avoid COVID-19 transmission while continuing to deal with immigrants in existing jurisdictions. This does mean even to individuals who refuse to seek political asylum and refugee status, but this has a dangerous connotation in terms of compassionate and human rights-related entry. Still, NIH representative and White House Coronary Virus Task Force member Dr. Anthony Fauci said in friday’s briefing that to ensure that border closures are effective, they must apply equally to all access to the country.