Trump Sends Troops to Defend Southern Border Against Coronavirus Spread
President's administration is ramping up border security in fight against Chinese virus
President Donald Trump's administration is sending more than 500 troops to defend the Southern Border from illegal crossings in an effort to prevent further spread of the coronavirus into the U.S. interior.
The move is part of the ongoing effort to stop more COVID-19 infections from entering the United States via infected illegal aliens.
The Defense Department is providing 540 personnel to support Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operations at the U.S-Mexico border following a request from The Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The request is currently in place until the end of September after being approved by Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
“At a time when Americans face a profound public health and national security threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative that the men and women of law enforcement have the support they need to prevent public health threats from entering the country through our borders,” a DHS official said in a statement.
The request will add additional personnel to the approximately 5,000 troops already stationed at the border to conduct non-law enforcement activities, Reuters reported.
The request was made in order to help assist in the detection and monitoring of activity across the border, but troops will not be involved in law enforcement, officials told Fox News.
The request was made because of the extra strain that conducting additional health and security measures places on CBP in its border security efforts.
President Trump has made securing the border a top priority of his presidency, particularly since the U.S. has dealt with a crisis at the southern border in 2019 as more than 100,000 migrants flooded to the border each month last spring.
That crisis has abated, but the spread of the coronavirus across the globe has moved the administration to add a number of restrictions on migration and at the borders.
Trump announced this month that nonessential travel would be restricted at the land borders with Mexico and Canada.
A CBP spokesperson told Fox News this month that wall construction is going ahead as scheduled.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has also been using deportation flights to return illegal immigrants to countries in the Northern Triangle while bringing back Americans stranded in those countries.
The administration also announced this month that illegal immigrants will be turned away immediately, and not detained in a center where they could spread or contract the highly contagious virus.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that migrants being caught trying to cross into the U.S. illegally are being expelled to Mexico in an average of just 96 minutes.
Migrants are now being processed “in the field” without even seeing the inside of a Border Patrol station.