Acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli says border crossers are being almost immediately returned to Mexico after crossing into the United States.
In March, President Trump halted all non-essential travel at the northern and southern borders of the U.S. through a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) statute allowing a suspension of migration if Americans’ health is at risk.
Cuccinelli said, in an exclusive interview with SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Daily, that Trump’s order — coupled with the White House’s existing Remain in Mexico policy — has made returning border crossers quick and simple.
“Last month, the average number of people we had in custody was 150-a-day. which is about as close to zero as we ever get,” Cuccinelli said. “We got below 100 a number of days. And that’s because 80 percent of the people that [Border Patrol] is apprehending, they’re literally putting back across the Mexican border in under two hours. That’s the average time.”
“It works to protect America and to keep our officers safe. And it is succeeding in that goal, both those goals,” Cuccinelli said. “This arrangement where we reduce travel on the Mexican border by agreement with Mexico has worked very well for both countries.”
Cuccinelli said illegal immigration at the southern border is a “very, very dangerous situation” in terms of American public health, calling the journey through Mexico and up north “petri dishes” where border crossers “end up in stash houses” in the U.S.
“At our peak last July, we were cohorting [quarantining] over 6,000 people who’d been exposed through transmittable diseases,” Cuccinelli said. “No one paid attention to the public health dangers until [coronavirus] rolled around … but now the rest of America is sort of getting an eye-opening view of what goes on at the border from a public health standpoint.”
In April, as Breitbart News reported, border apprehensions dropped by 84 percent compared to the same time last year. In total, less than 16,000 border crossers were apprehended by Border Patrol agents last month — a 47 percent decrease from the more than 30,000 apprehended in March.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.