Tuberville grills Biden’s DHS secretary on open border, contradictory COVID-19 policies
U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) continues to be a strong advocate for border security during his first full month in office.
Tuberville on Tuesday sent a letter to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas expressing concern over the discrepancy between Homeland Security’s COVID-19-related health and safety guidelines for migrants entering at or between ports of entry at the Southwest border and those required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for air travelers entering the country.
In the letter, which can be viewed here, Tuberville stated that the relaxed posture toward health and safety protocols at the United States’ border with Mexico “is both disturbing and discouraging, as our nation has made great sacrifices to contain the virus – to the point of shutting down our economy, laying off American workers, and closing schools.”
Alabama’s junior senator also comparatively noted, “To minimize the spread of COVID, the Biden Administration has kept in place presidential proclamations issued by President Trump that suspend travel from certain regions of the world. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that individuals boarding planes destined for the U.S. must possess negative COVID tests taken within three calendar days of their departure dates.”
In addition to the relaxation of COVID-related practices at the border, Tuberville further reiterated that the unprecedented amount of executive actions taken under the Biden administration thus far will result in increased border crossings by individuals who are not screened for coronavirus.
“Under your leadership, the Administration has also instituted a number of policies that will undoubtedly weaken both border and national security,” the senator from Lee County wrote. “I am concerned that these policy changes leave little protection or guidance in place to support our federal and local law enforcement officers along the border or within the interior of the U.S. Not surprisingly, these actions were taken without providing the American people and lawful immigrants any explanation as to why enforcing the nation’s immigration laws is contrary to the goals of this Administration.”
Tuberville concluded his letter with several questions related to “how DHS plans to prioritize the health, safety, and security of our law enforcement officers and all American.”
These questions are as follows:
Please explain what precautionary measures CBP officers and border patrol agents are directed to take to minimize their exposure to COVID and how we can ensure these measures are being adhered to. How frequently are you testing officers and agents stationed along the Southwest border?
Effective January 26,2021, the CDC requires that all air passengers, including U.S. citizens, boarding flights destined for the U.S. to provide evidence of a negative COVID test taken within three calendar days of departure. Is the same requirement in place for individuals entering the U.S. at or between ports of entry along the Southwest border? If not, why is a stricter standard being applied to U.S. citizens than non-citizens?
Is every individual admitted at the Southwest border being screened for credible fear? Has COVID impacted the Department’s ability to thoroughly vet individuals who are entering the U.S. both legally and illegally via land border?
Please explain how rescinding any of the executive orders related to immigration and published during the Trump Administration make our nation’s borders stronger, the American people safer, and our lawful immigration system more secure.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn