WASHINGTON – "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. 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,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan.
At initial intake, the 31-year-old Indian man was evaluated by medical personnel and placed in quarantine due to displaying flu like symptoms. Medical personnel ultimately tested the subject for COVID-19, which came back positive. CBP is currently conducting contact tracing with those he may have been in contact with and closely monitoring his symptoms. The subject has been transferred to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement where he will continue to be treated based on medical personnel recommendations. CBP has notified our partners in the government of Mexico of the incident.
“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. Our agents and officers continue to protect our country from this invisible enemy, risking their own lives for the health of our nation," said Morgan. “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,” Morgan further stated.
This is the first individual in CBP custody to test positive for COVID-19. CBP continues to support the whole of America response to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the public.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between official ports of entry. CBP is charged with securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.