Biden Administration Will Vaccinate Migrants at Border

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is demanding a coronavirus vaccine for some undocumented migrants on the southwestern border. The policy change comes days before the administration’s subsequent review of a public health ordinance restricting immigration during the pandemic.

 It described the plan to The New York Times.

According to instructions given to senior national security officials on Sunday. if single adults refuse to be vaccinated. They will be detained and put under deportation proceedings. If they apply for asylum and cannot remain in detention. They will be released with the help of a “strict conditions” surveillance device. If migrant families refuse to be vaccinated, they will also be given monitoring devices under the same conditions.

The White House has said little about whether it will soon reverse the public health order. That the Trump administration put in place at the pandemic’s start. The order, known as Section 42, gives border officials. The power to return migrants seeking to enter the United States to prevent them from spreading. The coronavirus here is a precautionary measure. Public health experts called unnecessarily.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to consider whether. This rule is necessary at this pandemic stage and makes a decision in the coming days.

The administration’s decision to start vaccinating some undocumented migrants appears to acknowledge. That there are measures beyond the public health order. That it can take to minimize the spread of the coronavirus across borders.

Department of Homeland Security

A Homeland Security spokesman said that vaccinating immigrant detainees is the “best public health practice.” The spokesman did not explain why the department waited so long to introduce the practice to undocumented migrants, many of whom came from Central America. In November, the administration has submitted a request for a short-term contract to provide Covid-19 vaccinations at locations along the southwestern border. Planning for these vaccinations is in development.

Internal discussions. The administration has previously resisted vaccinating undocumented immigrants, despite numerous suggestions from the Department of Homeland Security over the past year on how to do so. According to three current and former government officials aware of the ongoing discussions, President Biden’s domestic policy adviser Susan Rice has privately expressed concern that this will serve as an incentive for more undocumented migrants trying to cross the border according to three current and former government officials aware of the ongoing discussions for discussion.

Noah Gottschalk, head of global policy at Oxfam America, said the argument doesn’t make sense.

“Based on our work in the regions and places where people come from, this has absolutely nothing to do with the arrival of people,” he said. “People have access to vaccines. They come because they are fleeing persecution.”

At the Department of Homeland Security, officials planned for Section 42 to end in early April. As a result, they expect large swarms of migrants, exceeding the already large number of people who have crossed the border undocumented in recent weeks.


March 28, 2022, 9:00 pm E.T.

Since President Biden has been in office, there has been a significant surge in migrants crossing the southwestern border, many of whom are fleeing poverty and persecution. The administration used the public health rule to expel migrants just over half the time, allowing others to enter with humanitarian exceptions.

Migrant children arriving at the border without parents or guardians are exempt from this rule and are allowed entry. The administration has offered vaccinations to migrant children in state-run shelters for months; Immigration and Customs Enforcement also provides vaccinations for immigrant detainees. And the administration is vaccinating migrant asylum seekers who are waiting in Mexico until the U.S. decides on their case.

Amesh Adalya, the senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said we should have offered the vaccinations to all undocumented migrants detained on American soil.

“There isn’t a strong case for not vaccinating people at the border, especially when we have the lowest vaccination rate ever in the United States. We’re throwing the vaccine in the trash,” said Dr. Adalya. “If they don’t, they would rather throw the vaccine in the trash than put it in the hand of a migrant; that’s where it leads.”

Biden administration

The Biden administration has relied heavily on scientific evidence to justify many other health precautions during the pandemic. It has not released data that shows undocumented migrants play a significant role in spreading the coronavirus.

In deciding to use the policy, a panel of judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit noted the lack of data.

“We are not dismissive of the risks of Covid-19. And we will be sensitive to statements from CDC officials testifying about the effectiveness of the public health order; the group wrote earlier this month. “But there aren’t any.

They added, “From a public health standpoint, based on the limited record we have. It’s far from clear whether the CDC’s order serves any purpose.”

The White House and the Department of Homeland Security

The White House and the Department of Homeland Security have repeatedly said that the public health order is at the sole discretion of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“This is not a matter of immigration policy,” Homeland Security Minister Alejandro N. Majorca’s said on March 17. The CDC determines the need for an order,” he said, “from a public health perspective, depending on where we are in the arc of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Mr. Majorcas pointed to the spread of options in other countries. While Covid cases are declining in much of the United States, Omicron’s sub-option, BA.2, is driving up issues in Europe and could cause a new surge here. However, it does not appear to be causing widespread severe illness.

Zolan Kanno-Youngs made a report.

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