The US announced Monday that foreign nationals would be allowed to travel by air into the country if they are vaccinated, and Fox News‘ Peter Doocy asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki if the same standard would apply to migrants at the southern border.
‘Is somebody asking the foreign nationals who are walking into Del Rio, Texas and setting up camps on this side of the border for proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test?’ Doocy asked.
At long last, the Biden administration announced it would allow all fully vaccinated foreign nationals to travel to the US beginning in November, though the land border between the US and Mexico remain closed.
All travelers are required to take a Covid-19 test within three days of their flight and show proof of vaccination.
‘As individuals come across border they are both assessed for whether they have any symptoms and if they have symptoms the intention is for them to be quarantined,’ the press secretary said.
‘They are not intending to stay here for a lengthy period of time,’ Psaki added, ‘I don’t think it’s the same thing.’
‘These are individuals … we are expelling based on Title 42 specifically because of Covid.’
‘Is somebody asking the foreign nationals who are walking into Del Rio, Texas and setting up camps on this side of the border for proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test?’ Fox Nes’ Doocy asked
‘As individuals come across border they are both assessed for whether they have any symptoms and if they have symptoms the intention is for them to be quarantined,’ press secretary said Jen Psaki said
A judge last week ordered the Biden administration to stop using Title 42, a coronavirus public health order, to expel migrant families with children.
Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security watchdog found that DHS is putting its staff and surrounding communities at risk with lax Covid-19 measures.
The report specifically investigated a lack of Covid-19 testing at DHS facilities. It found that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) does not have the resources to test migrants who enter their custody and relies on public health systems in surrounding towns to do so.
‘Without stronger COVID-19 prevention measures in place, DHS is putting its workforce, support staff, communities, and migrants at greater risk of contracting the virus,’ the DHS Office of Inspector General wrote in a report released Wednesday.
Several officials interviewed by the watchdog said that migrants are constantly reminded of the Covid-19 risk but often do not social distance or wear masks, and even the testing process for families post-CBP custody is not effective because municipalities cannot force families to isolate for the quarantine period.
Haitian migrants continue to cross across the US-Mexico border on the Rio Grande as seen from Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila state, Mexico on September 20
Some 15,000 Haitians have, in the past five days, now illegally crossed from the Mexican border and waded through the waters of the Rio Grande river to set up camp under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas
Migrants stand near their makeshift shelters while awaiting to be processed after crossing the Rio Grande river into the U.S. from Ciudad Acuna, in Del Rio, Texas, U.S. September 20,
The officials also said that a breakdown in authority under Title 42, the coronavirus health order that allows DHS to turn away migrants, has ‘increased risk’ of CBP personnel, migrants in custody and local communities.
The report was released as the situation has worsened since its evaluation in May. In August, over 200,000 were apprehended at the southern border, the second highest in 21 years. DHS is not responsible for testing any of the 1.5 million migrants who have arrived at the southern border since last October.
Mayorkas admitted in leaked audio last month that the migrant crisis is ‘unsustainable.’
According to a Wednesday order, the US now requires all legal immigrants to be vaccinated against Covid-19 as part of their immigration medical examination but the new rule will not apply to migrants crossing the southern border illegally.
Anyone crossing the border has had the option to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at various patrol sites since early August, but it is on a voluntary basis and no one needs to show proof of vaccination to enter the country.
Meanwhile, the southern border is bearing the brunt of another influx of migrants, this time from Haiti. The island nation is in the midst of a perfect storm of earthquake devastation from last month, political instability and economic recession brought on by coronavirus.
Some 15,000 Haitians who took that risk have, in the past five days, now illegally crossed from the Mexican border and waded through the waters of the Rio Grande river to set up camp under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas.
The US has significantly ramped up evacuation flights back to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti this week to quell the surge.