Biden Plan To Stop COVID-19 At Southern Border: Vaccinate Migrants Before Release

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The Biden Administration, on Wednesday, announced that they will make efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at the Southern border, not by limiting access and curtailing the number of illegal immigrants in United States custody, but by providing vaccinations to migrants held by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Although the Biden Administration’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has allowed Title 42 to remain in effect, allowing border patrol to expel captured illegal immigrants immediately over COVID-19 related to concerns, it ended the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, and is now allowing some asylum seekers to remain inside the United States while they wait for a hearing on their claims.

Those asylum seekers, the Daily Wire reported last month, caused a scare in South Texas when it was discovered that a Catholic charity aiding migrants had purchased hotel rooms for immigrants who “had possibly tested positive for COVID-19.”

“The Biden Administration has knowingly — and willfully — released COVID-19 positive migrants into Texas communities, risking the potential exposure and infection of Texas residents, Texas governor Greg Abbott said in a statement last week, announcing an plan to pull over vehicles that could be carrying illegal immigrants in the interest of stopping the spread of the virus. “The Governor’s Executive Order attempts to prevent the Biden Administration from spreading COVID-19 into Texas and protect the health and safety of Texans.”

Now, the administration, which fought that plan and won a temporary injunction, says it aims to prevent Texas and border COVID-19 scares — and the spread of the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus — by vaccinating immigrants being allowed to stay in the U.S., even if for a short period of time.

“The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to vaccinate migrants as they come into custody for processing by Customs and Border Protection (CBP),” Fox News noted Wednesday. “Vaccines would also be offered to those facing deportation, but not to those being quickly expelled via Title 42 public health protections, the outlet reported.”

DHS told Fox that it has not yet changed its vaccination policy, but, the outlet notes, “the vaccine has been administered to migrants in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody,” adding that around 30% of those in ICE custody have “declined the shot.”

The news comes as reports indicate CBP officials likely encountered the most illegal immigrants at the United States southern border in July than in any single month since DHS was founded as a Cabinet-level agency in 2001. CBP encountered nearly 210,000 illegal immigrants at the border in July, and more than 15,000 of those were unaccompanied child migrants — also a record.

The unaccompanied migrant children have posed a major conundrum for the Biden Administration, not simply because they require housing and can only be held in border patrol custody for just over two days, but because CBP has struggled to effectively test child migrants for the COVID-19 virus, according to NBC News, once they are in custody.

“Customs and Border Protection is not testing migrant children packed into overcrowded border stations for Covid-19, Biden administration officials,” according to a March report, “though more than 100 have tested positive after being transferred from those facilities.”

The Biden Administration is reportedly holding around 15,000 minors in temporary detention facilities.

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