(USA Features) The Department of Homeland Security tied the spread of the coronavirus in the United States to the border, noting that hundreds of Chinese migrants have be caught crossing illegally this year.
In all, DHS said at least 328 illegal immigrants from China have been caught at the U.S.-Mexico border since January 1, which raises the prospect that coronavirus could be spread through illegal entry.
The virus’ epicenter is Wuhan City, China. The outbreak reportedly began in December. Because Chinese government data is often incomplete or purposely wrong, it’s hard to determine how widespread the virus is there.
In addition to Chinese migrants crossing illegally, DHS said that three people from South Korea — where the virus has infected more than 5,200 people thus far — have also been nabbed at the border. So have 122 people from the Dominican Republic, where the virus has now been detected.
And there is still the issue of illegal immigration from Mexico. DHS says more than 1,000 Mexicans per day are caught attempting to sneak into the U.S.; Mexico recorded its first coronavirus case last week and has since identified five more people.
Worse, for those who are caught at the border, a significant number of others are believed to be successfully entering illegally.
“The journey to the U.S. border puts migrants in poor conditions,” a Homeland Security official told The Washington Times. “We don’t know if they have come into contact with someone who has the flu, there is no passport, medical history, or travel manifest.”