The Biden administration admitted it does not have the capacity to test all illegal migrants crossing the border for Covid-19, but paradoxically it can be more rigorous with those who enter legally.
As the number of illegal migrants entering the United States increases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House COVID-19 response team, said that visitors entering the country legally are a “different” issue than testing illegals at the southern border.
During a press conference, Fauci was asked by Fox News reporter Peter Doocy whether the new testing requirements would apply for everyone coming into this country, including illegal migrants. The doctor responded that border testing only applies “under certain circumstances.”
“We still have Title 42 with respect to border protections,” Fauci said. “There are protections at the border that don’t have the capacity, as you know, of getting somebody on the plane and getting checked and looking at a passport – we don’t have that there- but we can get some degree of mitigation.” “There is testing at the border in certain circumstances,” he added.
While Fauci admitted that those who enter illegally have the privilege of not having as many restrictions on entering to the United States, those who do enter legally will face a list of new regulations to prevent the spread of the Omicron variant.
New measures for legal travelers, but not for illegal migrants
On Thursday, December 2, the United States announced that starting next Monday, all travelers moving to its territory will be required to have a negative coronavirus test done within 24 hours prior to their flight, regardless of their vaccination status or country of departure.
Beyond protocols for travelers, Biden’s winter coronavirus plan includes measures to promote booster vaccination among all adults, expand the number of inoculations among children, increase access to free home testing, and increase workplace protections.
In short, while Biden’s administration imposes severe measures on travelers who enter correctly, and requires mandatory vaccinations for Americans, illegal migrants at the southern border have no major restrictions related to Covid-19, putting Americans’ health at risk.
The administration is also considering requiring air travelers to undergo a second Covid-19 test within three to five days of arrival in the country.
On Nov. 29 The United States imposed travel bans on eight southern African countries because of the Omicron variant, which was first detected in South Africa and Botswana last month.
The White House said the decision was a “precautionary measure,” while scientists work to determine if the highly transmissible variant is also associated to a more serious disease. However, doctors in South Africa and Israel speak of relatively mild symptoms so far.
Currently, the CDC recommends diagnostic testing within three to five days of arriving to the U.S. from abroad, as well as isolation of unvaccinated travelers, whose compliance is voluntary and it is believed few people do so.