In a Jan. 22 speech, President Joe Biden not-so-boldly declared, “There’s nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months.”
Biden was selling himself short. On at least one front, America’s southern border, the administration has moved to elevate, not flatten, the COVID-19 infection curve.
In response, Texas is suing the administration for endangering public health. “President Biden’s outright disregard of the public health crisis in Texas by welcoming and encouraging mass gatherings of illegal aliens is hypocritical and dangerous,” state Attorney General Ken Paxton said.
Paxton is onto something here.
For over a century, legal immigrants have been required to prove they are free of communicable diseases. That’s a part of the admissions process.
Why is that not being enforced now, particularly during a pandemic?
Another question: Where are COVID-positive illegal aliens likely to go seeking work? Answer: Hospitality, agricultural and food service -- work environments that are conducive to spreading diseases.
With limited resources in pre-pandemic times, border cities were straining under the onslaught of illegal immigration while many hospitals, emergency rooms and community clinics were facing financial collapse. Hardest hit were legal U.S. residents who are poor, disadvantaged and elderly.
Now, with the pandemic’s financial and public-health toll mounting nationwide, the administration’s unwillingness to secure our borders is pure insanity.
Charging Biden & Co. with violating Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rules, Texas is asking a U.S. District Court in Fort Worth to require removal of migrants back to Mexico under President Trump’s prudent application of Title 42. Title 42 authorizes U.S. Customs and Border Protection to expel undocumented migrants to prevent the spread of disease.
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., recently accused the administration of exempting illegal aliens from COVID-19 protocols for masks and social distancing. The congressman asked Dr. Anthony Fauci if he would be worried about a restaurant running at 250 percent capacity, like some migrant holding centers. The White House’s chief medical adviser acknowledged, "It would be a major concern, yes.”
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) has reported on the ill effects of the administration’s double standard. Though the U.S.-Mexico border remains officially closed to “non-essential traffic,” migrants are being waved through and, in some cases, bringing coronavirus with them. According to another report, among 11,300 illegal alien minors under federal care, 2,900 were laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 positive.
The administration has not commented on Texas’ lawsuit or the Scalise-Fauci concerns.
Indeed, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris seem oddly aloof to the metastasizing health and security debacle. The president has yet to dial in to any of the weekly COVID-19 coordinating calls with the nation’s governors. Harris, tasked to lead the White House response to the border situation, has been on only one call. That was for about five minutes, and she didn’t take any questions.
The president and vice president may not be taking any questions, but the American people need answers. It should not require a lawsuit to get answers from the administration on two of the most important issues facing the nation, but apparently it takes one.
In the meantime, the Biden administration continues to deny that we have a crisis at our border and refuses to even consider the potentially dire health implications of more than a hundred thousand migrants pouring across our border each month. While the president’s top health advisors are justifiably alarmed about new and even more lethal strains of COVID, such as the one ravaging India, the very real risk that it could enter our country across a border the administration refuses to control is being ignored.
In the face of the clear and present dangers posed by the Biden Border Crisis, Texas’ lawsuit demands prompt consideration by the courts and judicial action to force the administration to act to protect public health.
While President Biden, as he claims, may not have the ability end the COVID crisis sometime soon, he does have power to make it far worse – and somebody needs to stop him.
Thankfully, Texas has taken the first step.
Bob Dane is executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in Washington, D.C.
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