The Biden administration’s move to suspend certain deportations for 100 days not only poses a security threat but also puts additional pressure on the nation’s public health system amid a pandemic, former Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf says.
Shortly after President Joe Biden’s inauguration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a memo calling for a 100-day pause, beginning on Jan. 22, on the removal of “certain noncitizens.”
“The pause will allow DHS to ensure that its resources are dedicated to responding to the most pressing challenges that the United States faces, including immediate operational challenges at the southwest border in the midst of the most serious global public health crisis in a century,” the DHS said in a statement.
Wolf, who recently resigned from the role following court battles over the legality of his appointment, said Jan. 24 on Fox News that the 100-day suspension is “very concerning.”
“What the Biden administration is saying is we’re not going to deport them because we’re going to focus on other things,” Wolf told Fox News. “They’re moving resources to the border to process immigration, to process asylum claims. I think in a COVID-like environment, that’s very dangerous.”
When asked about a Central American migrant caravan hoping to enter the United States, Wolf said the Biden administration will need to put in place a series of policies to address that as a national security and public health issue.
An estimated 8,000 mostly Honduran migrants set off on foot in large caravan groups about a week ahead of Biden’s inauguration. The group’s advance was blocked by military and police forces after crossing the Honduras-Guatemala border.
“This is about homeland security,” he said. “It’s not just good policy for politics. They need to make sure that that border is secure, that we don’t go back to catch and release, and that we’re not releasing individuals that may have COVID into American border communities to put additional strain on our health care system.”
In response to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under the Trump administration issued an order that gave Border Patrol agents the authority to summarily expel those caught entering the United States illegally. Since March, border enforcement officers have expelled about 400,000 individuals along the U.S.–Mexico border.
The CDC order says that individuals who are caught illegally entering the United States via the Canadian or Mexican border will be either returned to the country from which they entered the United States, or their country of origin, or another “practicable location” outside the United States. The CDC directs border enforcement officials to do this “as rapidly as possible, with as little time spent in congregate settings as practicable under the circumstances.”
It added, “This order does not apply to persons whom customs officers determine, with approval from a supervisor, should be excepted based on the totality of the circumstances, including consideration of significant law enforcement, officer and public safety, humanitarian, and public health interests.”