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Trump Announces Crackdown at Southern Border Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

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Expanding on previous travel restrictions, the Trump administration announced Friday it was effectively closing the U.S.-Mexico border in order to further contain the spread of coronavirus in North America.

An agreement between the two nations to restrict all nonessential travel for the time being was made Friday morning, President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters in a White House news briefing shortly thereafter.

It has not yet been revealed how long these new restrictions will remain in place. However, the administration did assure that the flow of lawful trade and commerce will not be halted or disrupted.

“Both our countries know the importance of working together to limit the spread of the virus and ensure the commerce that supports our economy continues to keep flowing,” Pompeo said. “The United States is glad to have a friend that’s working side beside us in the fight.”

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Numerous similar travel restrictions have come down from the White House in recent weeks — beginning with China on Jan. 31, as cases began cropping up outside the virus’ country of origin, which was then reporting roughly 12,000 confirmed cases, according to The New York Times.

In the nearly two months since then, those restrictions expanded to encompass Iran and the European Union as confirmed cases and deaths began to skyrocket across an aging and densely populated Italy, CNN reported.

Initially excluded, the United Kingdom and Ireland were retroactively included in the European travel ban on March 14.

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Mexico was not America’s only continental neighbor to agree to proceed with decreased contact amid the pandemic, however.

A 30-day ban on nonessential travel between the U.S. and Canada already had been reached Wednesday and also included provisions for work-related mobility and commercial border crossings.

Trump and Pompeo extolled these measures Friday morning, suggesting they would be key to hedging against rapidly increasing U.S. cases of coronavirus while preventing further economic fallout.

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“As we did with Canada, we are also working with Mexico to implement new rules at our ports of entry to suspend non-essential travel. These new rules and procedures will not impede lawful trade and commerce,” Trump said. “The actions we’re taking together with our North American partners will save countless lives.”

“These measures will protect the health of all three nations and reduce the incentive for mass global migration that would badly deplete the healthcare resources needed for our people,” he added, according to Fox News.

The administration’s North American travel crackdown comes amid a nearly 700 percent increase in domestic coronavirus cases over the course of just one week, leaving the total at 14,631 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

Neither Canada nor Mexico has breached the 1,000-case threshold.

Experts say this week’s dramatic spike in U.S. cases is mostly statistical, resulting in large part from an increase in test kit availability.

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Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal. Having joined up as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, he went on to cover the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for the outlet, regularly co-hosting its video podcast, "WJ Live," as well.
Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal and regularly co-hosted the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."

Sciascia first joined up with The Western Journal as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, before graduating with a degree in criminal justice and political science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and worked briefly as a political operative with the Massachusetts Republican Party.

He covered the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for The Western Journal. His work has also appeared in The Daily Caller.