Experts comment on the border situation and COVID-19

Is the border situation related to the COVID-19 outbreak?

The US is facing the most alarming surge of illegal border crossings in decades, with truly high border apprehension rates. Thus, because the border situation worsened just after President Joe Biden took office, his administration is facing a gigantic challenge related to irregular migration.

On the one hand, immigrant rights advocates and citizens who supported his campaign are calling on President Biden to fulfill his immigration promises and lift the border restrictions related to the global Coronavirus pandemic, which were implemented by the Trump administration. On the other hand, opposition groups and several members of local governments and Congress are urging his administration to implement even stricter policies to curb irregular migration at all costs and as soon as possible.

This pressure on the Biden administration has undoubtedly increased over the past few weeks, especially as a massive new outbreak of Coronavirus is delaying the US’ ability to overcome the health crisis, even more so considering current vaccination rates, which are very low.

In fact, recently, certain Republican members have openly stated that immigrants crossing the borders without legal documentation are spreading COVID-19 among the American population and that the Biden administration is “opening the US’ doors to the virus”. However, how real and corroborative is this conjecture?

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Experts comment on the border situation and COVID-19

Several health care professionals recently commented on comments from Republican political leaders regarding immigrants and COVID-19, especially comments made by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who has been against Biden’s immigration ideals since taking office.

For instance, the director of Physicians for Human Rights openly stated, “This is not a border issue; it is not a migrant issue (…) They’re just trying to divert attention from the actual measures that we need to take. Asking people to wear masks, and socially distance, and take care of themselves and their loved ones. And it’s baffling to me that instead of trying to protect lives, they’re trying to create a scapegoat.”

She and other health care leaders are calling on local governments to put political battles aside to protect the American people, avoid social division and discrimination, and help the country move past the current juncture instead of creating more controversy and problems.

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