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Archive for March 19th, 2020

Border Protection Employees Tasked with Stopping Nonessential Traffic Between Canada, U.S.

Ambassador Bridge in Detroit, where traffic comes and goes from Canada.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Border protection employees have a new job at the U.S.-Canada border: Denying nonessential travelers entry into the country.

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday morning that the U.S. and Canada have reached a deal to close the border to nonessential traffic to combat the coronavirus.

“We will be, by mutual consent, temporarily closing our Northern Border with Canada to non-essential traffic,” Trump tweeted. “Trade will not be affected.”

U.S. and Canadian officials had been working on a ban on nonessential travel between the two countries. Trade and commerce won’t be affected, Trump said.

Records: At least 13 Homeland Security Officials Tested Positive for Coronavirus, Nearly 500 More Are Quarantined

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The coronavirus has hit federal Homeland Security employees hard.

At least 13 employees for the agency have been confirmed or presumed positive for COVID-19, but only eight of those cases – all TSA screeners – have been publicly disclosed, according to documentation obtained by POLITICO.

The records also show that nearly 500 Homeland Security employees have been quarantined.

Homeland Security officials declined to comment for the story.

The risk to federal workers is high because many of the more than 240,000 Homeland Security employees are still working and in close proximity to the public.

“The department’s leadership is going to have to pay very close attention as this public health crisis evolves,” John Cohen, former acting undersecretary of intelligence and analysis., told POLTICO. “It has to be concerned that its ability to carry out its core mission could be compromised if there’s a widespread outbreak of the virus among DHS personnel. And quite frankly, that’s something that federal, state, and local officials need to be concerned about across the board — that this virus will spread among first responders, law enforcement, and Homeland Security personnel, compromising the ability of those organizations to protect the public.”