The Biden administration announced this week that travel restrictions at the Canadian and Mexican land borders will be lifted for non-essential travel for foreign nationals who have been vaccinated, and that in January, even those on essential travel will need to be vaccinated – a mandate which those who enter the United States illegally do not face.
Non-essential travel across land borders has been banned since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic under the Trump administration. But this week, the Biden administration announced that non-essential travelers who have been fully vaccinated will be allowed to enter the United States through land and sea ports of entry.
UNITED STATES TO REOPEN LAND BORDERS NEXT MONTH FOR FULLY VACCINATED
“In accordance with the new international air transport system that will be implemented in November, we will begin to allow travelers from Mexico and Canada who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the United States for non-essential purposes, including to visit friends and family or for tourism, via land and sea border crossings, ”Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.
In November, vaccinated travelers will be allowed entry for non-essential reasons. Then, starting in January, DHS will require all incoming foreign travelers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide documents to prove it.
However, this request will not be made to illegal migrants encountered at the border, treated and released inside – although the border patrol agents who process them will also soon be faced with a warrant for vaccination.
“The health and safety of our workforce and the migrants in our care is of paramount importance,” a CBP spokesperson told Fox in response to a question about expanding vaccines. compulsory for illegal immigrants. “We continue to monitor and reassess our COVID-19 protocols. At this time, our protocols have not changed.”
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While many single adults and some migrant families are quickly deported due to Title 42 public health protections, many are not, including a majority of migrant family units. Fox News reported this week that more than 160,000 migrants have been released inside, including more than 94,000 with notification notices to an Immigration and Customs Facility (ICE). None of them was confronted with a request for vaccination.
Meanwhile, CBP is not testing all migrants as a standard for COVID-19. CBP will inspect migrants for symptoms of COVID-19 and refer suspected COVID-19 cases to local health systems for testing, diagnosis and treatment. Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security has developed a model of partnering with local organizations to test and quarantine families and reimburse the cost “provided the state does not object.”
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Republicans were quick to point out the inconsistency between the approach of legal travelers and illegal immigrants when it comes to vaccinations.
“This is extremely laughable given that the border has been open to unvaccinated illegal immigrants all year round,” said Representative Guy Reschenthaler. tweeted.
“The Biden administration will soon open the land borders with Mexico and Canada to fully vaccinated travelers only,” representative Lance Gooden, R-Texas, tweeted. “Unvaccinated illegal immigrants are always welcome to cross at any time.”