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Press Release Published: Feb 19, 2021

Oversight Republicans Sound Alarm on Impending Health Crisis at the Border

Biden Administration’s policies are leading to more illegal immigration, which could soon lead to widespread COVID infections

WASHINGTON—Today, House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) and Committee Republicans sent a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas raising concerns over the Biden Administration’s recent actions to limit enforcement and weaken border security, potentially leading to widespread COVID-19 infections and prompting a health crisis at the border and surrounding communities. The lawmakers are requesting documents, communications, and information to fully understand the administration’s plan to prevent the impending catastrophe at the southwest border.

“The Biden Administration’s policies limiting immigration enforcement and weakening border security, coupled with its proposal to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants, are signaling to the world that our immigration laws can be violated with little, if any, consequence,” wrote the Republican lawmakers. “We are particularly concerned that the Biden Administration’s actions could soon lead to a health crisis at the border and surrounding communities, causing widespread COVID-19 infections and fatalities.”

Oversight Committee Republicans highlighted the number of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) and families arriving at the southwest border decreased last year, largely due to the prior administration’s use of the Migrant Protection Protocols and enforcement of health and safety reforms advised by scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The lawmakers emphasized Biden’s decision to abandon these policies is leading to an increasing number of UACs and family units illegally crossing the border, which will soon overwhelm border facilities, create widespread COVID-19 infections, and possibly force port of entry closures which will hinder economic recovery.

“Without a radically different approach, a health, security, and humanitarian crisis is inevitable,” the lawmakers concluded. “The increase in illegal immigration at the southern border presents a risk not only to Border Patrol agents apprehending migrants who illegally cross the border, but also to those communities into which those individuals will relocate—likely leading to widespread COVID-19 infection and fatalities.”

Read the letter here.