by Betsy McCaughey
President Biden’s health honcho, Rochelle Walensky, announced Monday that vaccinated Americans can visit with others who are vaccinated in small groups at home. But when Walensky was asked about visiting grandchildren, she said no, unless the kids are local. Even vaccinated people must avoid traveling, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention insisted: “Every time there’s a surge in travel, we have a surge in cases in this country.”
The Biden administration is making one exception, however. It’s OK to wade across the Rio Grande River and enter the US illegally. Even if you have COVID-19, you can get on a bus in a Texas border town and travel to any part of our nation. Never mind how far and wide COVID-infected migrants spread the virus as they fan out.
On the travel question, Biden’s double standard is mind-boggling. It’s a firm “No” for Granny, but a warm “Yes” for illegal immigrants.
Since Biden took office, he has rapidly dismantled Team Trump policies that kept migrants in Mexico during the pandemic. Some 100,000 migrants surrendered to US border officials in February, up from 78,000 in January. The total figure is likely to reach 1 million this year if the trend continues.
Some single adults are sent back to Mexico, but families are permitted to stay. After a few days of processing in a detention center, officials grant them documents to travel and release them into a Texas border town. From there, nonprofits like Catholic Charities get them bus tickets to their destination of choice.
Here’s the hitch: The feds refuse to test migrants before release, unless they’re visibly sick, even though COVID continues to rage in Mexico. Biden’s press secretary, Jen Psaki, explained that the administration considers testing a state or local responsibility. That’s ridiculous.
Some cities, like Brownsville and El Paso, are using rapid tests to identify COVID-positive migrants. Other cities don’t test. But either way, city officials explain they have no authority to stop infected migrants from traveling; only the feds do.
When Brownsville, Texas, officials tested migrants last month, more than 6 percent tested positive. Some were willing to quarantine at local hotels paid for by charities, but many boarded buses for other parts of the country.
Six percent sounds small, but 6 percent of 1 million migrants adds up to 60,000, spanning out across the nation unhindered.
And exposing bus riders en route, that is. Last week, Greyhound CEO David Leach demanded assurance from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that undocumented migrants boarding buses in Texas have tested negative. So far, no answer.
Meanwhile, Team Biden continues to apply the brakes on American life returning to normalcy. Government virus-guru Anthony Fauci has warned that this is no time to relax. Biden accused the governor of Texas of “Neanderthal thinking” for ending the Lone Star state’s mask mandate. And the CDC warns Americans “to avoid all travel” to Guatemala and other Central-American countries — even as the government invites migrants from those same countries into our homeland.
Travelers flying into the United States must have a negative COVID-19 test before boarding, and another negative test is recommended after landing. But illegals get a free pass to bring the novel coronavirus to a bus terminal near you.
Why is this happening? Radical open-borders advocacy groups have taken over the White House, and they get what they demand, no matter how extreme. Instead of working with Congress and hearing out open-borders opponents, Biden issues executive orders, shutting out any debate.
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), whose district runs along the border, warned that White House officials “should not only listen to the immigration advocates and activists,” but also to the public affected by open-border policies. The facts prove they’re dangerous to our health.
Betsy McCaughey is a former lieutenant governor of New York.