Undocumented immigrants should be able to get their COVID-19 vaccinations without fear of being arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, says President Joe Biden.
“I want to make sure they are able to get vaccinated so they’re protected from COVID without the ICE or anyone interfering,” Biden told Univision in an interview Friday. "They should not be arrested for showing up for being able to get a vaccination."
Biden also told the news outlet that he wants to make sure undocumented immigrants have enough food to eat, pointing out that his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, which passed in the House Friday, increases funding for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits, food banks, and more.
The Department of Homeland Security in February said ICE would not conduct enforcement activities at or near COVID-19 vaccination locations.
“It is a moral and public health imperative to ensure that all individuals residing in the United States have access to the vaccine,” the agency said. “DHS is committed to ensuring that every individual who needs a vaccine can get one, regardless of their immigration status.”
The administration is pushing widespread vaccination to rein in the pandemic in the United States, taking a particular focus on increasing access to shots in communities of color, where the vaccines are being distributed at a much slower rate than in white communities.
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