The Biden administration is not planning to vaccinate the nearly 200,000 migrants who are showing up on the border each month, despite imposing mandates on federal workers and private businesses nationwide.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed during a press briefing Friday that many employees would be required to get the coronavirus vaccine but that people in federal custody at the U.S.-Mexico border would not be required, nor be able, to get it.
“Our objective is to get as many people vaccinated across the country as humanly possible, and so the president’s announcement yesterday was an effort to empower businesses to give businesses the tools to protect their workforces,” Psaki said Friday. “That’s exactly what we did, but certainly we want everybody to get vaccinated, and more people are vaccinated, whether they are migrants or whether they are workers, protects more people in the United States.”
“But it’s a requirement for people at a business with more than 100 people, but it’s not a requirement for migrants at the southern border. Why?” a reporter asked.
“That’s correct,” Psaki said before immediately moving to a different reporter.
Although there have been reports that the Biden administration is preparing to offer coronavirus vaccines to migrants in custody at the border, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the federal agency that oversees Border Patrol operations, does not have plans to vaccinate migrants in its custody, two people familiar with the situation told the Washington Examiner.
Asked Friday if the agency plans to begin offering vaccines to migrants, a CBP spokesperson declined to comment on the record. The Department of Homeland Security, which oversees CBP, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A spokesperson for a U.S. representative whose district is on the border told the Washington Examiner Friday afternoon that CBP has not administered any vaccines.
Since President Joe Biden took office in January, more than 1 million people have attempted to cross the southern border illegally. Of that 1 million, 660,000 were immediately sent back across the border, while 410,000 were taken into custody, according to federal data. The vaccines were rolled out nationwide this spring, as illegal migration levels at the southern border hit 21-year highs.
Washington Examiner Videos
Original Author: Anna Giaritelli