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The White House defended its coronavirus restrictions on legal foreign travelers amid reports that thousands of illegal migrants who have tested positive for COVID-19 are being released into the country, saying various non-governmental organizations are helping them get vaccinated.
"I know there was reporting about the vaccination of migrants,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at Thursday’s briefing. “That's not what the [Customs and Border Protection] is doing.”
Instead, NGOs and international organizations "are vaccinating migrants as they come across the border” in “partnership with” the federal government.
A reporter asked Psaki whether a looming vaccination requirement for people traveling to the United States will extend to illegal immigrants due to the recent surge at the border.
“Given where we are today with the delta variant, we will plan to maintain existing travel restrictions at this point,” she replied. “However, what our interagency working groups are focused on, and this is what I think was reported, is working to develop a plan for a consistent and safe international travel policy.”
“There’s a lot of confusion about what the restrictions are now, and you all have asked a lot of good questions about it,” Psaki added. “Because it feels inconsistent, and it is.”
One Texas border city saw 1,500 migrants released into its downtown area during the last week of July test positive for COVID-19. The local government has reported 7,000 such cases among migrants released there over the past five months.
Some of President Joe Biden’s lowest job approval ratings concern his handling of the border and immigration. Border apprehensions surged past 1 million for the fiscal year in July, when a record number of children were also likely stopped at the border.
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Original Author: W. James Antle III