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The Biden administration will soon force all foreign visitors to be fully vaccinated, even as it simultaneously waves hundreds of thousands of COVID-positive migrants into the United States.
An administration official told Reuters the White House is working on a new system for when travel resumes. The plan will include “a phased approach that over time will mean, with limited exceptions, that foreign nationals traveling to the United States (from all countries) need to be fully vaccinated.”
On its face, the requirement could be justified as a prudent public health measure. But critics would be wise to point out similar measures are not enforced on our porous southern border, so it is of limited utility.
McAllen, Texas, has been described as “ground zero for the border crisis.” Reporting by Anna Giaritelli found that of the 7,000 migrants released into the city last week, at least 1,500 tested positive for COVID-19. These migrants are not held in sanitary conditions.
Giaritelli also reported that, after being tested for COVID-19, migrants would be walked to the Catholic Charities humanitarian respite center. The center’s facilities have been strained so much they have a half-dozen portable toilets in its back alley.
Other migrants have been less fortunate. Photos provided to the Washington Examiner’s Paul Bedard by former acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan show migrants crammed together in a Weslaco, Texas, border facility. Morgan also said 4,000 migrants were held under a bridge near McAllen.
Allowing migrants to come into the country without being tested or vaccinated for COVID-19 is not sound public health policy. And holding them in close quarters while they await processing is inhumane and fosters the spread of the virus. If anything, as I wrote earlier this week, the lack of public health measures at the border proves the administration’s immigration strategy is not “fair and humane.”
As a candidate, President Joe Biden promised to “preserve the dignity of immigrant families, refugees, and asylum-seekers.” On July 4, as president, he said, “We’re closer than ever to declaring our independence from a deadly virus.”
If Biden wants to achieve both goals, he should curtail the spread of COVID-19 on our southern border, not just at our major airports.
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Original Author: Samuel Kim
Original Location: Even as infected migrants pour in, foreign tourists must get vaxxed