CBP in San Diego: All illegal immigrants will immediately be returned to their native countries
On Friday, President Donald Trump announced restrictions along the U.S.-Mexico border for all non-essential travel. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has been enforcing that mandate, and says it has seen a 70% decrease in traffic at ports of entry.
Reporting on a phone press conference held today, NBC San Diego relates in the name of Pete Flores, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego, that Mexican nationals who illegally cross the U.S. southern border will be immediately returned to Mexico, and that migrants from other countries be held in custody only for so long as it takes for a flight to their native country to depart.
CBP San Diego states that agents on patrol are wearing protective gear like masks and gloves
out of an abundance of caution. They are giving out masks to migrants encountered at the border and are practicing social distancing. Vehicles and facilities are cleaned each time a new group of illegal immigrants arrives.
Aaron Heitke, Chief Patrol Agent for the U.S. Border Patrol San Diego Sector, says once an illegal alien is encountered, a quick interview is conducted and fingerprints are taken. If the criminal background check does not reveal any violent crime, they are immediately transported to the border and returned to their home country.
Those who claim they are seeking asylum, for what it's worth, will be handled on a
case-by-case basis. CBP San Diego says determining whether to hold together “asylum seekers” arriving in groups or to detain them individually will depend on the specifics of each case.
DHS measures at the border to limit the spread of coronavirus
The new procedures described by Customs and Border Protection in the San Diego Sector are in fulfillment of new U.S. Department of Homeland Security policies explained in this DHS fact sheet.
In order to limit the further spread of coronavirus, CBP will no longer detain illegal immigrants in holding facilities. Instead, they will immediately return those aliens to the country they entered from. Where such a return is not possible, i.e. in cases where their native country is not Mexico or Canada, CBP will return them to their country of origin.
These measures were implemented on March 21, 2020 and will remain in-force for 30 days, at which point they will be reviewed with both Mexico and Canada.