The Department of Homeland Security recently noted that more than 40 miles of border wall construction has been completed since the coronavirus scare started in January.
The first confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported in the U.S. on January 20, and DHS has since noted that the construction continued long enough into the new year to finish up another 40 miles of barriers separating the U.S. from Mexico before the virus began shutting down so many construction projects across the nation.
“Border security is national security,” Rusty Payne, a spokesman for Customs and Border Protection, told the Washington Times. “We have completed 142 miles of new border wall system and we have another 197 miles under construction. In addition, there are 414 miles in the pre-construction phase. We remain confident we will have 450 miles completed by the end of 2020.”
Indeed, Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, praised the continued construction saying that new border wall construction should be considered part of America’s response to the viral outbreak.
“Today is not the time to play politics with the lives of U.S. Citizens. Walls have proven to stop illegal entries into the United States, therefore they are an essential law enforcement resource which will undoubtedly help in reducing the spread of COVID-19,” Judd told the Times.
DHS has noted that 142 miles of new border construction has made the border safer for millions. And 400 more miles are still in the works.
Immigration officials also made an alteration to its “remain in Mexico” policy due to the virus.
The Trump administration started the “remain in Mexico” policy to keep illegals applying for asylum out of the country while their asylum claims are evaluated. During the Obama administration, all illegals had to do was pretend they were seeking asylum to waltz right into the U.S. without any further requirements. But Trump changed that policy to make them wait outside the U.S. while their applications are vetted.
But now, the administration has also lengthened the stay time because of the virus.
“Due to circumstances resulting from COVID-19, all Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP) master calendar and merit hearings presently scheduled through April 22 will be rescheduled. Neither the MPP program nor any hearings will be cancelled,” DHS said in a statement last week, according to the Washington Examiner.
More than 100,000 people have been infected with COVID-19 in the U.S.A., and 1,500 had died of the virus as of last weekend.
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