EXCLUSIVE: CBP’s Morgan: CDC Virus Directive Results in Immediate Removal of 90% of Illegal Border Crossers

Acting Customs and Border Protection director Mark Morgan speaks with reporters in the briefing room at the White House, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon/AP Photo

Mark Morgan, chief operating officer and commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), told Breitbart News on Wednesday that a U.S. statute that allows the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to protect public health at borders and points of entry has resulted in 90 percent of individuals trying to enter the country illegally being immediately deported.

Morgan credited President Donald Trump’s border security policy with the reduction of migrants getting into the United States.

“This president, under the auspices of the CDC, provided us with what we call Title 42,” Morgan said, referring to that U.S. Code that gives the CDC authority to protect the public health.

“It’s not an immigration enforcement policy,” Morgan said “It is a public health law.” 

“CDC, through Title 42, has actually directed CBP to immediately return those individuals that we are apprehending for trying to illegally enter the United States,” Morgan said. “Because if we introduce those people into our facilities, into our congregate setting, it’s absolutely going to impose an undue dangerous exposure risk to our personnel, to immigrants themselves, and it would be catastrophic for our local health care systems.”

Morgan also talked about the ongoing construction of the wall on the U.S. border with Mexico and how it is improving national security, including protecting the public health during the pandemic.

“Even with all of that, we have continued to work tirelessly with the United States Army Corps of Engineers to continue to build the wall system,” Morgan said. “In fact, we have actually increased the speed at which we are building the wall system these past few months.”

“We currently [are] now at 256 miles of wall system that has been built and I remain confident that we are going to meet or exceed our goal of 450 miles of wall system by the end of this year,” Morgan said.

The progress includes a “record” week of wall construction that saw almost ten miles completed. 

And Morgan countered what he called the “false narrative” that border security plays no role in fighting the spread of the coronavirus.

“It’s an incredible impedance and denial tool,” Morgan said. “We can remove that person right away and they are not going to be introduced into the system.”

And the wall, Morgan said, also allows for better border security at places where there is not a physical barrier.

“The other thing that the wall gives us as we continue to build it, we’ll see what we call the balloon effect — we’ll see them to areas where there is no wall system,” Morgan said. “Again, from an operational capacity that’s good for us because we are directing them.”

“We’re changing their behavior so that we can have more resources where we know they’re going to be and, again, we’re going to apprehend them and remove them right away and not bring them into our facilities or introduce them into our health care system,” Morgan said.

Morgan also credited Trump for “a network of tools and policies” that led to a vast reduction of boarders crossers, which in May of 2019 was about 144,000 encounters, which was reduced by January and February of 2020 to about 30,000 a month — representing a 75 percent reduction before the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

Now, Morgan said, the number of daily encounters is about 1,200 a day.

“But the key now is, under Title 42, from a public health standpoint, we’re returning 90 precent of those back to Mexico within two hours,” Morgan said.

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