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Trump Admin To Begin Turning Back All Illegal Immigrants At Border Over Coronavirus Fears

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The Trump administration is reportedly planning to turn back all asylum-seekers at both the northern and southern borders over concerns regarding the coronavirus outbreak.

Four administration officials told The New York Times on Tuesday that the policy would apply to asylum-seekers and any other migrant seeking to cross the border illegally.

Ports of entry would remain open to American citizens, green card holders and some foreigners with proper documentation as well as commercial traffic, according to the report.

Under the new policy, which the officials said would be announced within 48 hours, migrants crossing the border between the points of entry would be shuttled back to Mexico if they are crossing the southern border and would not be held for any amount of time in the U.S.

The officials said the policy is intended to prevent a coronavirus outbreak inside detention facilities, which they feared could infect large numbers of Border Patrol agents, thus softening border defenses.

It was not immediately clear if migrants seeking asylum or other protections at the ports of entry would be subject to the new policy.

While President Trump has proposed several hard-line immigration policies throughout his tenure, the officials insisted that the new rule was solely crafted to combat the coronavirus.

Neither the White House nor the Department of Homeland Security immediately responded to requests for comment from The Hill.

There have been 82 confirmed coronavirus cases in Mexico, compared with more than 500 in Canada and roughly 5,600 in the U.S., according to the Times’s tally.

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CBP Arrests Previously Deported Gang Member With Long Rap Sheet

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U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) announced Tuesday that it arrested a foreign gang member who had wreaked havoc across America, committing multiple crimes in multiple states.

“U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested a previously deported Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang member east of Lukeville, Arizona, late Saturday evening,” according to a press release.

Carlos Flores-Marquez, 37, was caught attempting to cross into the United States through the desert. He admitted to being a member of the brutal Salvadoran MS-13 gang, known for committing heinous and violent crimes in the United States.

He also told agents he had been deported from the United States.

As it turns out, that deportation occurred earlier this year.

During Flores-Marquez’s processing, CBP found that he had “an extensive criminal history in Arizona, Florida and Virginia, where his 2016 arrest led to convictions for multiple felonies in Abermarle County.”

“Flores-Marquez now faces federal prosecution for immigration violations, as he is a previously deported felon,” the press release said.

CBP also explained the process by which it identified illegal aliens.

“All persons apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol undergo criminal history checks using biometrics to ensure illegal aliens with criminal histories are positively identified,” according to the release.

CBP has said that the amount of interactions will illegal border crossers has sharply declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, and since President Donald J. Trump closed the borders to non-essential travelers.

Still, more than 4,000 would-be illegal aliens are being intercepted by the federal law enforcement entity each month.

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Sanctuary State Demands Tighter Border Security Amid COVID Pandemic

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The state of California, infamous for its “sanctuary” policies which protect illegal aliens from federal immigration authorities, has called for stricter border security measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic, eliciting a response from President Donald J. Trump.

Kristin Gaspar, a San Diego County Supervisor, reportedly sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence saying that medical professionals in the county are “increasingly worried about the rapid spread of COVID-19 in northern Mexico” and that the county has seen “a sudden influx of critically ill patients from Mexico.”

President Trump, a border hawk whom the political left, including California Gov. Gavin Newsom, have fought tooth-and-nail in his efforts to secure the U.S. southern border, responded to the news on Twitter.

“Mexico is sadly experiencing very big CoronaVirus problems, and now California, get this, doesn’t want people coming over the Southern Border. A Classic! They are sooo lucky that I am their President. Border is very tight and the Wall is rapidly being built!” he said.

The acknowledgement from the far-left state that open borders and mass migration might harm Americans is the first of its kind during the Trump presidency.

The border is officially closed to non-essential travelers and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has recorded a sharp decline in interactions with illegal border crossers during the pandemic.

Still, thousands are crossing the border legally at the San Ysidro-Tijuana port of entry, just south of San Diego.

According to Fox News, even large healthcare organizations are calling for tighter border security measures during the pandemic.

The news titan noted that “Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder and Sharp HealthCare COVID‐19 Strategic Response Executive Consultant Daniel Gross wrote a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf asking for help in dealing with coronavirus cases at the border.”

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