My recent trip to the southwest border took me across three states, California, Arizona, and Texas, and each of the areas had varying degrees of COVID-19 restrictions. You can't eat indoors in a restaurant in California, but you can in Arizona and Texas. Mask wearing in many public places is mandatory and there were testing sites in the airports in which I landed.
COVID-19 is something to take seriously if you are in a high-risk category, but now that we have more effective treatments for those who are infected and we have vaccine distribution at an all-time high, you would think Democrats, including President Joe Biden, would be projecting more optimism into finally putting this dark age behind us. Instead, we have got nothing but doom and gloom. The White House recently stated if you are vaccinated, you still need to wear a mask and not gather in groups. The Biden administration has also taken the side of teacher unions who want to stay out of the classroom despite the science showing schools are not epicenters of COVID-19 outbreaks.
Democrats and the media have spent the past year demonizing Americans who want to reopen the economy in safe ways so people can go back to work as being "grandma killers" and "selfish." They also have been giving a pass to Democratic state leaders who have implemented insane restrictions not based on science at best or have resulted in the deaths of actual grandmas, i.e. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. COVID-19 has been used as a bat to beat Americans out of jobs, churches, and schools.
If you want to fly into the United States, you need to have a negative test before being allowed to enter. But the rules are different if you cross the border illegally. Under the Trump administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection had been using the Center for Disease Control's Title 42 policy, which allowed border patrol agents to expedite deportations to avoid overcrowding their facilities so COVID-19 can't spread among those detained.
"You encounter [illegal immigrants] on the border, you immediately process them on the border, and you return them back to Mexico and that's what we're doing. About 90 percent of those that we're encountering, within Title 42, we're doing that in under two hours...It's been a game-changer from a public health perspective," then-Acting U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Mark Morgan told Townhall in October.
Coupled with the Trump administration's Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the Remain in Mexico policy, it helped prevent possible COVID-19 cases from reaching the border towns and beyond. Because, after all, the migrants consistently wearing masks is a crapshoot, they are often smuggled together in large groups, and the obvious is they are not following the "stay home, stay safe" mantra.
USBP agents apprehended 119 migrants in 5 stash houses:— CBP Mark Morgan (@CBPMarkMorgan) October 17, 2020
?? Laredo: https://t.co/O15jRw0ram
?? RGV: https://t.co/kcU10YevqU
Migrants continue to show a total disregard for their own health & the health of Americans & our agents during the pandemic. pic.twitter.com/WBPUKddoYi
USBP agents apprehended nearly THREE HUNDRED illegal aliens in just 18 hours in Laredo, TX. In the middle of a pandemic not a single person had on PPE to protect each other, our agents & our communities from #COVID19. Borders matter. https://t.co/3UaRl2evvU pic.twitter.com/VLi97NhRli— CBP Mark Morgan (@CBPMarkMorgan) October 17, 2020
Despite this known risky behavior, the Biden administration has reversed many of Trump's immigration policies that you would think they would want to keep in place because of the pandemic. Now, in border towns such as McAllen, Texas, we're seeing the opposite. Groups of migrants who have just crossed are being dropped off at bus stations, oftentimes without being tested for COVID-19. Where they go is up to them and it's unlikely they'll be seen again. At the same time, the Rio Grande Valley has been one of the worst-hit areas in Texas.
If Americans engaged in similar behavior, you could imagine how Democrats and the media would react. Except you don't have to imagine it. Democrats and their allies in the media have been throwing temper tantrums at the sight of people in Florida not wear masks and celebrating in the streets after Sunday's Super Bowl. And yet when it comes to the behavior of migrants, the COVID outrage is nowhere to be found.
All of this to say that the issues on our southwest border are complicated, heartbreaking, and in need of more attention than Washington, D.C. has been willing to give.