Acting Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli warned Monday of a surge in coronavirus transmissions with thousands of migrants expected to reach the U.S.-Mexico border in the early weeks of the incoming Biden administration.
More than 3,000 Honduran migrants moved into Guatemala on Friday as part of a larger caravan that left a Honduran city earlier in the day en route to the U.S. They are hoping for a warmer reception when they arrive at the border in light of the President-elect's pledge to reverse the Trump administration's policies on border security and illegal immigration.
"When these caravans come up and really [thoughought] the whole illegal immigrant pipeline, Sean, they are in tight conditions that they don’t control with people who don’t care about them," Cuccinelli told "Hannity."
"Let’s be very clear about that," he added. "It is an absolute human Petri dish opportunity for the transmission of a demonstrably very transmissible virus, and then we have to worry about this new strain now."
Cuccinelli said the looming surge at the border "isn’t a surprise or a shock to anyone," but warned the Biden administration that their scaled-back immigration policies will yield "way more than you bargained for."
"While I don’t like it or appreciate it or think it’s consistent with the law, it’s not like Joe Biden snuck up on anybody with this, right?" Cuccinelli said.
"I mean, this is what he said he was going to do. And what we were saying along with the Department of Homeland Security is hey look, you are going to get way more than you bargained for."
Biden has promised to end the Migrant Protection Protocols, which keeps migrants in Mexico as they await their political asylum hearings. The Trump administration has said the program has helped end the so-called "pull factors" that bring migrants north, but critics say the policy is cruel and puts asylum-seekers at risk.
Biden has also promised a pathway to legal permanent residency for those in the country illegally and a moratorium on deportations by ICE.