Republicans in Congress have lodged a complaint with Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas after hearing from a whistleblower that he has threatened to fire Customs and Border Protection (CBP) employees who aren’t fully vaccinated by November of this year.
“It is simply unbelievable that the Biden administration will allow Covid-positive illegal aliens to surge across the border but will terminate dedicated law enforcement officers who do not comply with President [Joe] Biden’s mandate,” Representatives Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Tom McClintock (R-California) said on Tuesday in a letter to Mayorkas.
Jordan is the lead Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, while McClintock is ranking member of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship. The mandate they referenced was Biden’s September 9 order that all federal government employees get fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or face termination of their jobs.
The congressmen noted that the difficult job of Border Patrol agents has been made even tougher this month by accusations of cruelty against migrants by Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Biden falsely claimed that people were “being strapped” by officers on horseback and vowed that “those people will pay,” while Harris likened the alleged brutality to “times of slavery.”
“This administration is now openly targeting the heroic men and women of the US Border Patrol,” Jordan and McClintock said.
Illegal aliens aren’t required to be vaccinated before being let into the country. In fact, Mayorkas reportedly admitted on Monday that about 20% of migrants crossing the US-Mexico border are infected with Covid-19.
“When one is speaking of 7,000 or 7,500 people encountered at the border every day, if one takes a look at that system, it is not built for that in a Covid environment where isolation is required,” Mayorkas said in a speech at a Migration Policy Institute conference in Washington.
Border Patrol agents encountered more than 200,000 people trying to illegally cross the southern US border in August alone, the highest total in decades. Most of the migrants are unvaccinated, and as Mayorkas acknowledged, tens of thousands are already infected with the virus.
The crisis escalated in recent weeks as thousands of Haitian migrants were crowded under a bridge in a makeshift camp near the border town of Del Rio, Texas. Contrary to administration claims that the migrants would be deported back to their country, Mayorkas admitted on Sunday that upward of 10,000-12,000 had already been released into the US, and that total would likely increase as another 5,000 Haitians were processed. Many had not been tested for Covid-19, let alone vaccinated.
The threat to fire CBP employees comes at a time when Border Patrol agents have been pulled from enforcement duties to help handle the influx of migrants at processing centers. Jordan and McClintock warned Mayorkas that firing officers over the vaccine mandate will make the situation even more chaotic.
“Your failure to support these federal law enforcement officials will only make the Biden border crisis worse and make our country less secure,” the congressmen said. They added, “We hope that for the safety of our country that you see the error in this decision, choose to support the heroes of CBP who put their lives on the line every day, and find reasonable accommodations for CBP officers who do not choose to comply with this mandate for personal or medical reasons.”
In August, even before Biden announced his mandate, unvaccinated Border Patrol trainees were reportedly kicked out of a Homeland Security academy in New Mexico. The move meant that those new officers wouldn’t be made available for enforcement duties on the understaffed border.
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