(USA Features) The Trump administration will begin on Wednesday immediately returning people who break into the United States illegally without an asylum hearing or immigration court appearance due to the coronavirus.
President Trump told reporters during a press briefing Wednesday afternoon the announcement was coming “very soon, probably today.”
Meanwhile, two Department of Homeland Security officials told the Washington Examiner the plan involves sending Mexicans who have been arrested for illegal entry back to Mexico within hours.
Officials said that migrants who are arrested for illegal entry and try to claim asylum over credible fear of returning to their home country won’t be exempted from the new policy.
Those who show up at U.S. ports of entry seeking asylum are already being returned to Mexico while seeking adjudication of their cases.
Mexican nationals make up the majority of those nabbed at the U.S. border trying to enter illegally. That’s a major change from last year, when masses of migrants traveled in caravans from Central America trying to get into the U.S.
“Customs and Border Protection did not respond to a request about the number of people it believes the new action could apply to,” the Washington Examiner reported.
“Last month, the Border Patrol reported arresting approximately 30,000 people who came over the southern border between ports of entry.”