Officials are warning that the novel coronavirus could explode just south of the United States border, where thousands of migrants live in shelters, awaiting immigration hearings.
“In Matamoros, where around 2,000 migrants live in a sprawling outdoor camp where they sleep in tents and share portable bathrooms and sinks, health advocates warned the coronavirus could spread rampantly. The camp is located across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas,” according to USA Today.
The warning came from Helen Perry, executive director of the nonprofit Global Response Management, which operates health clinics in migrant camps.
“We are very concerned,” Perry reportedly said. “You have a vulnerable, displaced community in poor living conditions without access to health care, where food is communal and housing is communal. It’s a recipe for explosive infection and transmission.”
Open borders, and particularly, asylum laws which force the United States to hear the cases of anyone in the world seeking to receive asylum, have caused the migrant camps to grow in size.
“More than 60,000 immigrants have gone through the program since it launched in January 2019,” the report said. “In a recent court filing, a Customs and Border Protection official said there are currently around 25,000 migrants in the program.”
But despite the known fraud within the asylum program, and the fact that the worldwide pandemic is raging, United State immigration courts are still hearing cases. All of this could be avoided if America’s borders were closed for good, or at least temporarily while dealing with the public health crisis.
U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) shares this view. The federal law enforcement’s union demanded that immigration courts close immediately while the disease spreads.
“Failing to take this action now will exacerbate a once in a century public health crisis,” the union said in a statement.
“Now is the time to close the nation’s 68 Immigration Courts for two to four weeks, to protect the health and safety of the Immigration Judges, the Immigration Court staff, and the public that we serve.”
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