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Eleven months into the Biden presidency and crisis defines this administration.
Since President Biden took office, we’ve faced crisis after crisis — the Afghanistan debacle, soaring inflation, devastating COVID-19 death tolls, crime waves nationwide, and an unmitigated disaster at the southern border where the fight to restore law and order continues.
According to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, our nation is experiencing the highest number of attempted illegal border crossings in 21 years. 1.7 million undocumented immigrants were apprehended attempting to enter the United States from October 2020 to September 2021, a steep increase compared to the 400,000 undocumented immigrants apprehended in the same period the year before.
I have visited our southern border twice now. It is a full-blown catastrophe on every front— humanitarian, national security, and economic. And to add insult to injury, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it is also a very serious public health catastrophe.
Vaccine mandates for citizens, but not for those enter the border unlawfully
President Biden’s approach to COVID-19 amounts to nothing more than political theater. And, administrative policies at the border prove it.
While the administration implements onerous vaccine mandates for federal workers, federal contract workers, healthcare workers, and anyone who works for a private business with over 100 employees, a mandate was never applied to those illegally crossing the southern border, let alone meaningful testing.
Under current Biden administration polices, there are no vaccine requirements for undocumented immigrants who have been flooding into our country since the successful Trump era “remain in Mexico” policy was suspended in January. Meanwhile, hardworking Americans are at risk of losing their jobs unless they are vaccinated.
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On September 20th, when White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about this double standard, she is quoted as saying undocumented immigrants didn’t need to comply because “they are not intending to stay.” What utter hogwash. We know, in the most devastating of terms, that the intent of the carrier of COVID-19 will not deter this virus from infecting anyone he or she may encounter.
While President Biden blames American citizens for the increase in COVID cases, he refuses to call out the record number of undocumented immigrants entering the United States from COVID hotspots around the world, who are contributing to the spread of new and dangerous variants of the virus.
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The arrival of the omicron variant
Take into consideration the new coronavirus variant, omicron, which was first reported in South Africa, and has quickly spread worldwide. Omicron is now the dominant COVID variant in the U.S.
According to Reuters, even with the increased spread of the new variant and the, albeit muted, warnings of Biden administration officials, the stream of undocumented immigrants continues unabated.
President Biden’s plan to battle the coronavirus has long included overreaching mandates on the American people. Now, he has implemented travel bans to boot. Both actions infringe on our rights and quality of life as Americans. Once again, we are seeing the Biden administration choosing to put the interests of undocumented immigrants above the interests of the American people and it has to stop.
As the border crisis rages on, we need commonsense policies. This country belongs to the American people. The health and safety of American citizens should come first for our President.
We need strong immigration policies to protect America and her citizens. That’s why I continue to call on President Biden to finally address this historic disaster of his own making and make a good faith effort to stem the flow of illegal immigration into this country by effectively enforcing our existing laws. Let’s keep America safe by making our border secure.
Congressman John Rose, R-Cookeville, represents the Sixth District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Immigration policy: Biden's efforts to secure the border are failing