Washington, D.C. – After reports of more than 100 migrants testing positive for COVID-19 and then being released, Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) led a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asking that the agency prioritize the health care and safety of Americans by having Customs and Border Protection (CBP) fully enforce Title 42. The Congressman was joined by Congressman Brian Babin, Congressman Louie Gohmert, Congresswoman Ann Wagner, Congressman Lance Gooden, Congressman Jeff Duncan, Congressman Bill Posey, Congresswoman Yvette Herrell, Congressman Troy Nehls, Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger, Congressman Randy Weber, Congressman Scott Perry, Congressman Neal Dunn, Congressman Jodey Arrington, Congressman Chip Roy, Congressman Ronny Jackson, Congressman Doug Lamborn, Congressman Michael Cloud, Congressman Ben Cline, Congressman Doug LaMalfa, Congressman Glenn Grothman, Congressman Brad Wenstrup, and Congressman Gregory Murphy.
"If CBP enforces Title 42 as instructed, there should be no individuals without proper documentation released into the United States. Data for the month of February show that CBP encountered over 78,000 individuals attempting to enter the United States without authorization. Of these, over 62,000 were single adults. There are reports that at least 100 migrants who tested positive for Coronavirus have been released into the United States.
"Historical precedent indicates illegal border crossings may increase to over 100,000 per month this spring. Due to the continued need for social distancing, CBP, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and ORR facilities will quickly reach capacity. Even with efforts to social distance, reporting states that migrants are already being held in crowded spaces while being processed. Coupled with the lack of Coronavirus testing along the southern border, this is a guaranteed super spreader event. At the very least, all individuals encountered along our southern border must be tested for Coronavirus and provided with personal protective equipment. This will help identify those most at risk and protect our officials on the frontline of this crisis as well as American communities," the members wrote.
The letter concluded by asking the Secretary to answer the following questions:
Read the full letter here.
- Why is the Biden Administration not enforcing the one authority that remains in place to protect the border, Title 42?
- Are all non-UACs without proper documentation being returned to Mexico or their home countries? If not, why not?
- Under what criteria are some adults and family units being allowed to enter the United States? How many?
- Are any non-Americans encountered at ports of entry or apprehended between ports of entry being tested for Coronavirus? If so, how many? What is the protocol when an undocumented individual tests positive?
- What resources does CBP require to fully enforce Title 42?