The United States’ borders have been flooded with thousands of foreign nationals arriving from countries affected by the Wuhan, China-originated coronavirus.
While the U.S. tries to contain the spread of the coronavirus — with leading medical experts blaming international travel and migration for much of the outbreak — nearly 151,000 border crossers and illegal aliens have been apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border since October 2019 from 72 affected countries, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) data reveals.
Since October, for example, 1,657 Chinese nationals have been apprehended at the southern border. About 341 of these Chinese nationals sought to enter the U.S. illegally just within the last few months.
DHS data finds that Chinese nationals are continuing to arrive at the southern border, with about six being apprehended within the last couple of days. There are now close to 81,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in China and 3,180 deaths.
“We have a unique public health threat posed by individuals arriving unlawfully at the border, where migrants, law enforcement officials, frontline personnel, and the American public are put at risk,” a senior DHS official told Breitbart News.
“All it would take is a single infected individual to impact the detained migrant community within DHS facilities,” the official said. “Without proper precautions, which can only happen through orderly, lawful migration, the virus threatens to spread rapidly. Any halting of [Remain in Mexico] would exacerbate this threat.”
Brazil, where 151 cases of the coronavirus are confirmed, has had about 6,400 of their nationals arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border since October. Similarly, eight Iranian nationals, 12 Italian nationals, 346 Russian nationals, 160 Romanian nationals, 204 Vietnamese, 827 Indian nationals, and 1,045 nationals from Cameroon — countries that have a combined coronavirus-infected population of nearly 30,000 and 1,781 deaths.
To the south of the U.S., Mexico now has 12 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and since October, nearly 110,000 Mexican nationals have inundated the southern border. Every confirmed coronavirus case in Mexico involves a person who recently traveled abroad or has been in close contact with a person who recently traveled abroad.
Likewise, close to 21,000 Honduran nationals have arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border over the past five months as two cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in the country.
The countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela have yet to have any confirmed cases of the coronavirus, but their nationals have traveled through coronavirus-affected Mexico to make their way, illegally, to the U.S.
Since October, about 44,370 nationals from El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela have arrived at the southern border by first traveling through coronavirus-affected Mexico.
A DHS official told Breitbart News that the volume of migrants, especially from countries with confirmed coronavirus infections, along with crowded federal detention facilities and the straining of public healthcare resources pose a risk in terms of trying to prevent more spread of the virus.
Despite the risk, Trump said last week that his administration was not particularly reviewing any plans to close the nation’s most porous border.
Already, Trump has implemented travel bans on China, Iran, and most of Europe at the direction of medical experts who say European countries helped spread the coronavirus to about 30 U.S. states. There are now 1,875 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. and 41 deaths.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.