Nick Miroff reports for the WashPost:
The Trump administration has carried out nearly 10,000 summary deportations or “expulsions” since March 21, using emergency public health measures that have given U.S. Customs and Border Protection broad authority to bypass immigration laws, CBP officials said Thursday.
The measures have allowed the agency to quickly turn away most unauthorized migrants — sending them back across the Mexican border. The moves have dramatically slashed the number of detainees held in border stations, where they fear the coronavirus could spread, the officials said. CBP currently has fewer than 100 detainees in custody, down from nearly 20,000 at this time last year during last year’s border crisis, officials said.
[[Under coronavirus immigration measures, U.S. is expelling border-crossers to Mexico in an average of 96 minutes]]
Since the implementation of the rapid expulsions, unlawful border crossings have dropped 56 percent, said acting CBP commissioner Mark Morgan. Morgan also acknowledged that the United States has all but closed its borders to asylum seekers who are fleeing persecution, including those who attempt to enter legally at U.S. ports of entry.
“Those who are undocumented or don’t have documents or authorization are turned away,” Morgan said.
Democratic lawmakers have accused the administration of defying U.S. laws and exceeding the authority of the coronavirus public health order, but Morgan defended the emergency measures as a necessary step to stop the spread of the disease.
“This is not about immigration,” Morgan said. “This is about public health. This is about putting forth aggressive mitigation and containment strategies.”
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CBP said the number of migrants detained at the border fell to 33,937 in March, down 7 percent from February. Single adults from Mexico accounted for 70 percent to 75 percent of those taken into custody, and most of the remainder were from Central America’s Northern Triangle countries: Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
The Mexican government has agreed to accept the rapid return of migrants from those nations at the border under an agreement reached with the Trump administration last month.
The recent expulsions include children who would otherwise be protected from rapid removal by U.S. anti-trafficking laws. Since the emergency order took effect, the United States has expelled nearly 400 underage migrants, according to the most recent tally by the Reuters news agency. The minors were released into Mexico or boarded onto planes and flown back to Central America without being transferred to the care of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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Read the rest of Nick’s article at the link.
It’s going to take more than a letter from Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) and other Dems to restore the Constitution and the rule of law. Indeed, with the help of J.R. and his Trumpist GOP majority on the Supremes, I would expect that asylum laws, like voting rights, Due Process, and other individual rights will remain a “dead letter” until we get both 1) regime change; and 2) reform in the appointment of Article III Judges.
There is little, if any, data right now to support the view that asylum seekers at the Southern Border have been a significant source for the initial spread of coronavirus in the U.S.; however, their arbitrary removal to other countries might have helped the worldwide spread of the disease.
Moreover, as COVID-19 spreads into the Gulag and the Immigration Courts from the rest of America, infections in those locations could help spread the virus, given the lawyers, Government employees, and contractors exposed at those dangerous locations. Nor were Asian Americans responsible.
We do, however, have some data to show that U.S. citizens and other travelers returning from Europe were inadvertently a source of the virus’s spread in New York, and that Trump’s ineptness and failure to heed early warnings contributed to the spread.
But, science and truth seldom have any meaning for Trump and his toadies. And, we also know that while Trump often falsely claims “victories” that are either fabricated or largely someone’s else’s, he never takes responsibility for his own many mistakes and shortcomings.