Kevin McCarthy blasts Joe Biden, says over 10% of illegal immigrants are testing Covid-19 positive
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is among those Republican voices who have flayed the immigration policy of the current Joe Biden administration. On March 11, Kevin assembled outside the Capitol Building along with other House GOP members for a press meet about ‘Biden’s Border Crisis’ where he blamed the president for the snowballing trouble at the southern border. He targeted the Biden administration over its pledge to offer citizenship to 11 million undocumented immigrants -- something that has seen waves of migrants thronging the Mexico border and several minors landing in the US custody.
On Monday, March 15, McCarthy was at it again, this time on the Texas border. Accompanied with other Republican members of the House, the California representative held a press conference to discuss the border crisis. McCarthy accused Biden of not cooperating with the opposition over resolving the border problem and said the immigrants waiting to enter the US were not just from Central America but also from countries like Iran, Yemen and Sri Lanka. But he also raised a bigger allegation and it was about the immigrants being Covid-19 positive. Speaking to the reporters, the House minority leader said more than 10 percent of the illegal immigrants are testing positive and that was posing a grave challenge to the country.
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“When I talked to the doctor to see when they’re being tested for COVID, when they get out. More than 10% are testing positive, while you’re being stored together. In a time when the president will keep our country closed, when maybe we have hope for a 4th of July to get together just with our family, how much spread of COVID is he creating every single day by his policies along this border? It’s wrong, and it has to end and it needs to end now,” McCarthy said before asking fellow Republican John Katko, who is a ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee and an equally vocal critic of Biden’s immigration policy.
Trey Mendez, the mayor of Brownsville, a border city in Texas, told reporters in a Zoom call on Monday that more than seven percent of the illegal immigrants arriving in the city are Covid-19 positive. Earlier this month, he told local channel KVEO that illegal immigrants who have tested positive were not undergoing quarantine and there was no way to enforce it on them. Texas Governor Greg Abbott also held the Biden administration “reckless” for allowing Covid-19 positive migrants into the local communities although his own administration has faced flak for lifting the mask mandate.
The Biden Administration is recklessly releasing hundreds of illegal immigrants who have COVID into Texas communities.— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 3, 2021
The Biden Admin. must IMMEDIATELY end this callous act that exposes Texans & Americans to COVID.
McCarthy criticized the Biden administration over its reversal of the Donald Trump policies on immigration through executive orders. “This is where he [Biden] should talk to the border agents and let them know that this is beyond a crisis. He can continue to deny it, but the only way to solve it is to first admit what he has done. And if he will not reverse action, it’s going to take congressional action to do it,” the 56-year-old leader said.
McCarthy said he wrote a letter to President Biden hoping to meet him to discuss the crisis at the southern border but alleged that the latter didn’t acknowledge it.
The White House so far has refused to acknowledge that the situation at the border is a crisis though on Tuesday, March 16, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki admitted that the US has a “big problem” at the Mexico border as the number of unaccompanied migrant children went up in large numbers. But she also held the previous administration responsible for the current mess. “...we recognize this is a big problem. The last administration left us a dismantled and unworkable system. And like any other problem, we are going to do everything we can to solve it.” she said.
White House puts ball in Texas governor's court
On March 11, Psaki was asked by the media at the White House about why illegal immigrants were not required to have negative test results to enter the American territory like those who enter legally, Psaki put the ball in Governor Abbott’s court saying more could be done with the testing and quarantine if the GOP leader authorized it.
“Governor Abbott has referred to what’s happening at the border as … an open borders policy. That is absolutely incorrect. The border’s not open. The vast majority of individuals apprehended or encountered at the border continue to be denied entry and are returned,” Psaki said at the press conference.
“The other piece is the question about the testing of migrants at the border — or testing of migrants as they are coming across. And we have — DHS and FEMA have stepped in and worked with local mayors, NGOs, and public health officials in Texas to implement a system to provide COVID-19 testing and, as needed, isolation and quarantine for families released from Border Patrol facilities. Their proposal and agreement would cover 100 percent of the expense of the testing, isolation, and quarantine, but Governor Abbott has decided to reject that,” she added.
Abbott’s Press Secretary Renae Eze counter-alleged in a statement that the Biden administration was pressuring the Lone Star State to aid its illegal immigration program but they were doing their best to protect the southern state.