About 1 in 5 migrants stopped at the U.S. southern border are infected with COVID-19, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas revealed this week.
Conservatives apparently aren’t crazy to think uncontrolled immigration poses a public health risk.
WHAT HE SAID
In a virtual address Monday at the Migration Policy Institute’s annual conference, Mayorkas admitted to being caught off-guard by the spike in COVID-19 cases among migrants, saying he didn’t expect “the tragic rise of the delta variant.”
“I did not expect to be in late September where we are,” he added.
Overcrowding at immigration facilities could further spread the coronavirus, Mayorkas acknowledged.
- “When one is speaking of 7,000 or 7,500 people encountered at the border every day, if one takes a look at that the system, it is not built for that in a COVID environment where isolation is required,” he said.
THE BORDER CRISIS
More than 200,000 migrants were encountered trying to illegally enter the U.S. from Mexico in August, part of a historic surge at the southern border under President Joe Biden.
- On Sunday, Mayorkas told Fox News that as many as 12,000 of the Haitian illegal immigrants who formed a makeshift refugee camp in Texas this month have been released into the U.S. pending court hearings, and that number is likely to go up.
THE PANDEMIC IN AMERICA
Fewer than 3.9 million Americans, about 1% of the population, tested positive for COVID-19 in September as the delta variant receded, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tracker.
- Nearly 56% of Americans have been fully vaccinated, almost 65% have received at least one shot and at least 13% have natural immunity from contracting COVID-19, with the death toll approaching 695,000, per the CDC.
WHAT THE RIGHT’S BEEN SAYING
- Former President Donald Trump slammed Biden in a statement Sunday for failing to secure the border and releasing detained migrants, saying, “Some are very sick with extremely contagious diseases, even worse than the China Virus.”
Such concerns have been widely condemned as xenophobic or racist in the mainstream media, and the Biden administration has avoided directly addressing them.
- White House press secretary Jen Psaki claimed last week that illegal immigrants do not need to be tested for COVID-19 or have their vaccination status checked because “they’re not intending to stay here for a lengthy period of time.”