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Homeland Security Secretary tours Southern Border

Posted at 6:33 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 23:22:40-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- The head of Homeland Security took a tour of our Southern Border Wednesday. Acting Secretary, Chad Wolf, visited the San Ysidro Port of Entry to check in on how agents are adapting to the pandemic.

"Men and women of Border Patrol, I.C.E., O.F.O, T.S.A., these are the front line operators that are keeping the homeland safe," said Wolf. " They don’t have the opportunity to telecommute, they don’t have the opportunity to social distance."

Wolf says they've released 900 detainees nationally that are at risk of contracting the virus.

"Today we have less than 100 folks in custody all across the southwest border," said Wolf. "It's really quite remarkable. A year ago thousands and thousands of folks were in custody, so we’re very proud about that."

They also aren't keeping migrants in custody very long to limit the spread of the virus.

"We return those that we apprehend illegally," said Wolf. "About 80% of them we return within two hours."

Wolf says traffic has been reduced dramatically since they put restrictions on non-essential travel across the border.

"We have seen traffic being reduced from 60 to 75 percent while keeping cargo trade moving," said Wolf.

The non-essential travel restriction is set to expire May 21st. But, Wolf says it will likely have to be extended.