US will likely close Mexico border: Trump

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Trump says US 'strongly' considering closing its Mexico border over corona virus

US President Donald Trump gestures during a press conference on the COVID-19, coronavirus, outbreak at the White House in Washington, DC on February 29, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

US President Donald Trump has vowed that his administration is “very strongly” considering shutting the country’s southern border with Mexico to purportedly prevent the spread of the corona virus despite detection of only three such infections in the Latin American country – much fewer than the number of cases in the US or in its northern neighbor, Canada.

“We are looking also at [the] southern border,” Trump stated during a Saturday press briefing at the White House when questioned about the move. “We have received a lot of power on the southern border over the last couple years from the courts, but we are looking at that very strongly.”

Trump’s remarks came after Mexico’s government declared on Friday that it had detected just three cases of the corona virus infection in three men who had recently visited Italy, making it only the second country in entire Latin America to register the proliferating virus.

Yet, as of Saturday afternoon, there are more confirmed cases of corona virus across the United States than in all of Latin America combined.

Trump claims US is 'way ahead' on coronavirus response due to his actions Trump claims US is 'way ahead' on coronavirus response due to his actions President Donald Trump has claimed that the United States is “way ahead” on coronavirus response due to his administration’s actions taken to contain the disease.

Moreover, the cases that exist in the US are predominantly from American citizens that were infected while abroad and were repatriated and quarantined, and none of the cases have been traced back to Mexico.

This is while the Trump administration has not announced any potential restrictions on America’s northern border with Canada, which has 16 confirmed cases of corona virus so far.

Just Prior to Trump’s remarks about likely closure of the American southern border, however, Reuters had already reported that Washington was considering imposing entry restrictions at the US-Mexico border to contain the virus, citing two unnamed Department of Homeland Security officials.

The report came after a group of 11 Republicans, led by Texas Congressman Chip Roy, urged the administration in a letter released on Friday to close the US border with Mexico to avert an outbreak.

“Given the porous nature of our border, and the continued lack of operational control due to the influence of dangerous cartels, it is foreseeable, indeed predictable, that any outbreak in Central America or Mexico could cause a rush to our border,” they wrote.

The letter came the same day a US district court blocked Trump administration's “remain in Mexico policy,” which meant that asylum-seekers could again await their cases on US soil.

“If today’s ruling is allowed to stand, these successes will be reversed, which threatens to flood the Nation’s immigration system, present unchecked corona virus entry risk, deeply damage our positive relationship with the Government of Mexico and other regional partners, and reignite the humanitarian and security crisis at the border,” said a White House statement on the ruling.

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