More than 88,000 immigrants trying to enter the U.S. illegally have been turned back since a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) emergency health order in response to the coronavirus crisis that allows for illegal immigrants and asylum seekers to be quickly removed from the U.S.
According to DHS data obtained by Fox News, border officials have prevented more than 88,100 individuals attempting to enter the U.S. illegally as of mid-June, and have been quickly turning them back normally within just a few hours, often without them even entering the country.
The administration announced in March that the CDC had directed DHS to “suspend the introduction of all individuals without proper documentation” into the U.S. from both the northern and southern borders in response to the spread of the deadly virus.
Under those authorities, known as “Title 42,” Border Patrol estimates that the average time from encountering a migrant in the field to expelling them from the country is just two hours, compared with the days or weeks it could normally take to process, detain and remove an illegal immigrant. Those authorities have been credited with keeping detention centers, which a year ago were packed amid an ongoing border crisis, relatively empty.
“The president’s decision to implement CDC and HHS authorities quickly averted the profound public health and national security threat at our Southwest border and will endure as one of the pivotal actions taken against the coronavirus in the United States,” a senior administration official told Fox News. “If not for this effort, tens of thousands of aliens acting as potential carriers for the coronavirus would have continued to enter law enforcement facilities near the border in congregate settings, making our Southwest border a major vein for coronavirus outbreak.”