Speaking from the White House Friday afternoon President Trump and officials from the Department of Homeland Security announced Mexico and the United States have reached an agreement to close the border to non-essential traffic. The agreement, like the one with Canada earlier this week, does not apply to trade or commerce.
“These measures will protect the health of all three nations and reduce the incentive for mass global migration that would badly deplete the health care resources needed for our people," Trump said.
Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf laid out the details and also announced individuals without proper documentation will not be allowed to enter the country.
"The CDC order directs the Department to suspend the introduction of all individuals seeking to enter the U.S. without proper travel documentation," Wolf said.
Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf outlines “unprecedented actions,” border restrictions to combat coronavirus pic.twitter.com/yNzTLh5iCP— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) March 20, 2020
.@CBP’s highest priority is to ensure the health, safety and security of our workforce and the American public. We are taking all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in CBP facilities and are ensuring that all our employees have personal protective equipment. https://t.co/3q2kyXHIBL— Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan (@CBPMarkMorgan) March 19, 2020
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who was also at the briefing, applauded the move as essential for stopping the spread of Wuhan coronavirus between the two countries.
"Now we have the northern and southern border issues. There's a fundamental public health reason for doing that because we cannot be preventing people from coming into one area when they can actual go in from the other," Fauci said, adding previous travel bans from China and Europe have been crucial to stopping additional Wuhan coronavirus cases from entering and being spread in the United States.