An Indian national is the first illegal alien to test positive for coronavirus while in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
CBP chief Mark Morgan announced the agency’s findings on Monday, asserting the 31-year-old male was placed in quarantine before being transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), who will oversee his medical treatment.
“On Thursday, April 23, a U.S. Border Patrol agent apprehended three Mexicans nationals and one Indian national suspected of having illegally crossed the border along the U.S.-Mexico border near Calexico, California,” Morgan said in a statement.
“The three Mexican nationals were rapidly returned to Mexico under Title 42 USC 265, and the Indian national was transported to a USBP facility for processing.”
Morgan says contact tracing is being carried out to determine who else may have been exposed and Mexican authorities have been alerted to the man’s condition.
“The potential for the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in CBP stations and processing centers presents a danger to migrants, our frontline agents and officers, and the American people,” Morgan asserted. “Our agents and officers continue to protect our country from this invisible enemy, risking their own lives for the health of our nation.”
“This is precisely the reason the CDC has given CBP the authority to rapidly return individuals that could potentially be infected with COVID-19. Can you imagine if we were navigating this pandemic during this time last year, when we had more than 20,000 migrants in our custody? It would have overwhelmed our processing centers and stations, and crippled the healthcare system along the border.”
Federal agencies confirm Chinese and CDC test kits were contaminated.
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