President Donald Trump has shut down the U.S.-Mexico border, citing concern over spreading COVID-19 – a move not unexpected with a worried nation on edge. The restrictions mirror policy temporarily in place on the U.S.-Canada border.
During the March 20 White House press briefing, it was announced that non-essential travel would no longer be permitted, though trade and commerce would be allowed to continue. The policy will be enacted at midnight and stay in effect for 30 days.
Defending the decision, the president stated: “We’re treating the borders equally, the northern border and the southern border. They’re both being treated equally. A lot of people say they’re not treated equally, well they are.”
As the saying goes, no good crisis goes unused in politics.
Stem the Flow, Shutter the Nation
The Trump administration has already closed international borders to Europe, China, Iran, South Korea, and Canada. On the heels of California and New York initiating a lock-down to all residents except essential workforce and local travel for necessities and the rising numbers of confirmed cases – now 14,000 in the U.S. – Trump is attempting to stop further spread.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf was also on hand during the presser to provide additional details of the closure. Reassuring both nations that lawful commerce would continue and that some exceptions could be made regarding emergency responders and citizen health care that often crosses international lines.
On top of the latest quarantine efforts, the State Department on Thursday strongly advised Americans to stay home, not travel abroad, and if already abroad, return as soon as possible. As many folks have found, travel plans are likely to be impacted, and no one can guarantee travelers will get home to the states any time soon.
As Trump said, this is simply an attempt to “reduce the incentive for a mass global migration that would badly deplete” U.S. resources. Who can possibly argue with America First in today’s environs?
Read more from Sarah Cowgill.
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Video: What’s the Point of Borders?
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