GOP Doctors: Biden Administration Not Disclosing Whether Border Crossers Are Being Tested for COVID-19

By Masooma Haq
Masooma Haq
Masooma Haq
July 30, 2021 Updated: July 30, 2021

Republicans in the U.S. House are pushing the Biden administration to disclose how many illegal immigrants who cross at the U.S. southern border are being tested for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes the disease COVID-19, by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as vaccinated Americans are being told to wear masks indoors.

In a letter to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the GOP Doctors Caucus requested data on how many illegal immigrants are tested for COVID-19 before they are released into the interior of the United States.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), around 1 million illegal immigrants have been apprehended at the U.S.–Mexico border since President Joe Biden took office, with numbers in June seeing another increase compared to the prior month, which already had record-high numbers. Last month, agents apprehended 188,829 people illegally crossing the border, up from 180,034 in May, according to CBP. That averages 6,294 apprehensions per day for the month.

In addition, last month, former CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan told Breitbart News that “few to none of the nearly one million illegal aliens apprehended have been vaccinated and there is little effective health infrastructure along the route to help prevent spread of the virus.”

Epoch Times Photo
Acting Commissioner for Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan at a press conference in Washington on March 5, 2020. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

“When Americans consider the skyrocketing number of migrant apprehensions, many have rightfully expressed concern about the public health risk posed by thousands of migrants flooding across our borders every week without being tested for COVID-19. As an active group of physicians and health professionals, we certainly share this concern,” the GOP Doctors Caucus wrote.

“Moreover, we are deeply disturbed about the lack of transparency coming from the Biden Administration. Americans deserve to know whether migrants are being tested for COVID-19 at the border, and if they are not, why on Earth would this be the case?”

DHS did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment about CCP virus testing for southern border crossers.

The three co-chairs of the GOP Doctors Caucus, Andy Harris (R-Md.), Michael Burgess (R-Texas), and Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) took part in a press conference with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on the steps of the Capitol on Wednesday.

Wenstrup said CBP is being inundated by border crossers and is doing a great job processing migrants given the load. “20,000 apprehended last week,” he said, but more resources need to be provided to them so they secure the border.

“They’re [CBP] doing the best that they can, but testing is erratic for COVID. You may have some that get tested by border patrol, but only if you have symptoms. You may have some that get tested by HHS [Department of Health and Human Services]. You may have some they get tested by ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement]. There’s no coordination, no set of rules, no guidelines per se. The testing is scattered, and the only place that people coming through have an option of a vaccine is with ICE, and they don’t have to take it of course, but that’s the only place it’s offered,” said Wenstrup during Wednesday’s press conference at the Capitol.

“How are we keeping America healthy? This is not the way. We subject our people to so many things through this, often willingly, because we’re trying to do what’s best for the country and our health, yet that’s being completely ignored at the border,” Wenstrup added.

In the letter from Friday, the doctors want Mayorkas to provide information about how many migrants are being tested for COVID-19 before release and how many are being tested for COVID-19 immediately at the border. They also want to know why those flying into the country are required to show proof of negative test but border crossers are not, and what procedures are in place to protect CBP agents from untested migrants. And finally, they want to know why the Administration’s revoking Title 42, while virus cases rise.

Reps. Greg Murphy (R-Ohio), Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), David Joyce (R-Ohio), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa), Neal Dunn (R-Fla.), Michael Burgess (R-Texas), Buddy Carter (R-Ga.), Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), and Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.), Brian Babin (R-Texas), also signed the letter.

Mayorkas
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, on March 1, 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

In March Secretary of Homeland Security, Mayorkas admitted during a hearing—with the House Homeland Security Committee in March at the beginning of the Biden administration—that some illegal immigrants were not tested for the virus and neither were they expelled at the border.

“There were times earlier when individuals were apprehended and we sought to expel them and we were unable to expel them and we were compelled to release them and we did not have the opportunity to test them,” Mayorkas told Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.).

Clyde tried to get more information from Mayorkas by saying, “According to media reporting since January 25, 2021, at least 108 migrants tested positive for COVID-19 after being released into Brownsville, Texas community where they proceeded to travel to cities throughout the United States. The mayor of Yuma, Arizona, told reporters that migrants are not being tested for COVID-19 before being released into his community.”

Mayorkas responded by saying that the report was true and since then the department is doing its best to make sure migrants are tested and quarantined as needed, but would not give exact figures.

Charlotte Cuthbertson contributed to this report.

Masooma Haq
Masooma Haq