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US to repatriate illegal foreign nationals held at southern border with Mexico

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

The United States on Friday said that it will repatriate foreign nationals, including some suspected coronavirus cases, apprehended at its southern border with Mexico to their country of origin.

While a large number of them are supposed to be from Mexico and other Latin American countries, others are said to be from across the world, including India.

President Donald Trump told reporters that foreign nationals who were caught at the southern border with Mexico will be sent back to the countries they came from.

Acting Secretary for Homeland Security Chad Wolf said the department has currently apprehended foreign nationals from over 120 countries around the world. He, however, did not give a country-wise breakdown

"The vast majority of those (are) having coronavirus cases," Wolf said.

He said many of these individuals arrived with little or no identity, travel and medical documentation, making public health risk determinations "all but impossible".

"It's also important to note that the outbreak on the southern border would likely increase the start strain on health systems and the border communities, taking away important and lifesaving resources from American citizens," Wolf said.

Trump asserted that non-Mexicans would not be sent to Mexico.

"We are not sending them to Mexico. We are sending them back to their own countries, not to Mexico. Why would Mexico take people that are not from Mexico?" he asked.

"We are sending them back in the case of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, a lot of other countries they go back to the country from where they came," Trump said.

The United States, Wolf said, would be sending individuals back to their countries but is also working with Mexico to send additional populations back there as well.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 21 2020. 02:08 IST