August 10, 2021
By Dale Wilcox
There is much debate today as to whether the border crisis resulted in a COVID-19 super spreader event. However, there is no doubt that the Biden administration’ refusal and inability to stop the flow of illegal immigration is having a significant impact on the spread of the infection.
The tragic reality is that this humanitarian disaster could have been avoided if the “anti-border/amnesty for all” activists had not interjected themselves into our border enforcement program. The border crisis is the product of a politically motivated agenda to empower and expand the the left’s partisan base without regard for national security and public safety consequences. Unfortunately, the American people must pay for this debacle with their lives and livelihoods.
The public discussion on the COVID-19 pandemic and its relationship to immigration enforcement must be founded on facts. It got its foothold in this country through human transmission by international travelers. Fortunately, the Trump administration put travel bans in place which helped to dramatically reduce the magnitude of the pandemic.
Significant efforts were made to curtail transmission of the disease by reducing the number of illegal border crossers. Construction of the wall was initiated to fill in gaps along the border. The Migrant Protection Protocols were implemented, which required that foreign individuals coming from Mexico illegally or without proper documentation be returned to Mexico to wait outside the United States for the duration of their immigration proceedings. Catch-and-release policies were stopped.
In March 2020, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) enacted Title 42 Public Health Protections in response to the pandemic. This CDC order allowed for the rapid expulsion of migrants without detention at the border. This immediately reduced the flow of illegal immigration and served as a disincentive and deterrent to those considering joining the caravans of migrants headed for our border.
The initiatives and policies of the previous four years were cancelled in the early days of the new Biden administration. To date, the administration has kept the Title 42 public health protections in place, except it has refused to apply them to unaccompanied minors and some migrant families.
Before the CDC yielded to logic and extended Title 42 on Aug. 2, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had indicated that the administration was considering a plan to end the entry restrictions for families and single adults. This plan would have had catastrophic results. There were 180,000 migrant encounters in May of this year and 112,000 of those migrants were turned back due to Title 42. These numbers clearly reflect the increase in illegal immigration and COVID-19 transmission we can expect if Title 42 protections are removed.
We must examine the facts as they relate to the spread of the COVID-19 infections. There have been 135 illegal immigrant detainees who have tested positive in the Rio Grande Valley in the first two weeks of July. This is a 900 percent increase over the past fourteen months. The spike in the spread of the delta variant coincides with the spike in border apprehensions. One can only speculate on infection increases originating from the illegal aliens who were not apprehended.
The delta variant did not originate in the United States. It was imported from foreign countries. COVID-19 is a global pandemic. Statistics from DHS show illegal aliens are arriving from over 150 countries. Many of these countries do not have COVID-19 vaccines available to their people and the vaccination rates of their populations run far below those of our country. Why shouldn’t this be a factor in determining who should be allowed to enter our nation?
The current administration and Congress have essentially done nothing to stop the ever-increasing flow of illegal immigration. They have touted progress in resolving the border crisis and have even made claims that the border is closed. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The impact of these policies is being reflected in the rise of the number of COVID-19 cases, particularly in the Midwest and some southern states. Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida and Governor Greg Abbott have already linked the increase in their state’s numbers to the transportation and placement of illegal border entrants by the federal government. Someone must be held accountable for the immigration enforcement policies that endanger our nation’s economy and public health. The American people have run out of patience for the clear double standard being applied to American citizens and illegal aliens.
Dale L. Wilcox is executive director and general counsel at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.
Also published at: Dale Wilcox, America is suffering from Biden’s COVID recklessness at the border, American Thinker August 10, 2021.
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