Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz Tests Positive for COVID-19 Shortly Before Getting Booster Shot

By Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts
Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and business news.
January 6, 2022Updated: January 6, 2022

Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz revealed on Wednesday that he tested positive for COVID-19 shortly before he was set to receive his booster shot, and urged people to get vaccinated.

“Earlier today I was set to receive my Booster but was feeling symptomatic and took a #COVID test. I tested positive and am self-isolating, hopeful to feel better,” Ortiz wrote on Twitter. “My symptoms may have been worse had I not been vaccinated.”

“I urge everyone to follow the guidance from health professionals and get vaccinate [sic]. I am one of hundreds of #USBP personnel in quarantine. Our frontline agents have battled this virus from the onset and I commend them. We will continue to be #vigilant as we protect our nation,” Ortiz said.

The Biden administration announced in September that all federal workers, which includes U.S. Border Patrol agents, must be fully vaccinated by a Nov. 22 deadline or face termination.

It comes at a time when near-record numbers of illegal immigrants are crossing the southern border in the worst immigration crisis in the nation’s history.

According to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) statistics, there have almost been 1.6 million illegal aliens apprehended during fiscal year 2021. When migrants stopped at the border are included, the number comes to 2 million.

In November, Tom Homan, who served as acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during President Donald Trump’s administration, warned that President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate could leave the federal government facing a shortage of  border patrol agents.

Homan said one Border Patrol agent was heading up a group representing several hundred others who are prepared to sue the administration if they do lose their jobs, and that the group of agents would rather risk being terminated than being coerced into receiving the government-mandated shot.

“I’m not anti-vax,” Homan said. “Each person has to choose on his own. Some just don’t want to do it.”

“They won’t take the vax, so in a time of crisis, [Biden] shouldn’t force this issue,” Homan said. “I talked to one female border patrol agent. She’s three months pregnant. She doesn’t know what the vax will do to her, and she cares, so she’s willing to lose her job.”

In October, supervisors were expected to begin holding counseling sessions for unvaccinated employees to encourage them to have the shots, CNN reported. Employees who did not comply would then be suspended and the termination process would begin.

Amid the ongoing border crisis, White House coronavirus response team member Dr. Anthony Fauci at the end of last year said the administration doesn’t “have the capability” to test all illegal aliens crossing the border for COVID-19.

“We still have Title 42 with regards to protection at the border,” Fauci said at a White House press briefing in December. “There are protections at the border that you don’t have the capability, as you know, of getting somebody on a plane, getting checked, looking at a passport, we don’t have that there. But we can get some degree of mitigation.”

“There is testing at the border under certain circumstances,” Fauci added.

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