Womack, Lawmakers Press President Biden on Hypocritical COVID-19 Standards
Washington, November 18, 2021
Washington, DC—November 18, 2021….Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3), alongside Congressmen Andrew Clyde (GA-9) and Clay Higgins (LA-3) and other House Republican members, today pressed President Biden on his hypocritical COVID-19 standards and demanded a plan on how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will test every migrant at the southern border.
The lawmakers wrote, in part, “Due to your administration’s negligent and misguided border policies, it has been reported that thousands of COVID-positive illegal migrants have been released into border towns throughout the country. This was verified during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing in March when Secretary Mayorkas admitted there were ‘instances’ in which illegal immigrants were released into the country — without being tested for COVID-19. In September, the Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report highlighting how ‘U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) does not conduct COVID-19 testing for migrants who enter CBP custody and is not required to do so.’”
The members go on to highlight how President Biden’s actions have exacerbated the extreme security, public health, and humanitarian crisis at our southern border—leading to record high apprehensions. They call for a reversal of these misguided policies and also demand DHS report a detailed strategy to Congress on how the department will test each migrant encountered at the border within 30 days of receipt of the letter.
On October 25, 2021, the Biden Administration announced new testing and vaccination requirements for travelers entering the United States. Currently, no such requirements exist for migrants apprehended at the southern border. Back in September, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified before the House Committee on Homeland Security that DHS was working to implement a testing strategy, but Congress has not yet received such a plan.
In October, U.S. CBP apprehended 164,303 illegal immigrants at our southern border. This was more than a 120% increase from last year at the same time. It also marked the highest number of illegal apprehensions on our southern border for any October in recorded history.
Read the full letter here.
Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) has represented Arkansas’s Third Congressional District since 2011. He is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.