US government set to deliver more COVID vaccines to Mexican border

Critics have increasingly blamed President Joe Biden’s policies for releasing undocumented immigrants into communities across the U.S. even as Americans are subjected to increasingly draconian COVID-19 measures.

The Biden administration has been dismissive of such criticism in the past, but a recent announcement signaled a more forceful vaccination policy along the nation’s southern border. According to reports, Vice President Kamala Harris promised Mexico’s president to send more COVID-19 vaccine doses south of the border.

White House approach shifts

The White House confirmed that Harris has a phone conversation with Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador during which they discussed “irregular migration” along their shared border as well as vaccine supply and other issues.

For his part, Obrador said that he expects the U.S. to send more than 1 million doses in addition to the roughly 3 million it has already delivered.

Their vaccine conversation came as critics have piled on the Biden administration for leaving some border towns like McAllen, Texas, overwhelmed by migrants, many of whom are infected with the virus.

That city reported more than 1,500 COVID-positive migrants recently released within its borders.

“There are commitments for us to have more vaccines, provided by the United States government,” Lopez Obrador said on Sunday, noting that the two countries would soon discuss how to continue “working on our joint agenda of collaboration.”

Troubling trends continue

In a statement, the Department of Homeland Security acknowledged that roughly 18% of undocumented immigrant families and 20% of unaccompanied minors have COVID-19.

The administration has begun offering vaccines to migrants at the border and could begin making the shot mandatory upon entering the country.

More than 1 million undocumented immigrants have entered the U.S. on Biden’s watch — including more than 200,000 who were apprehended at the border last month.

While the Biden administration has sought to downplay the border crisis, Lopez Obrador has previously faulted the White House for making the situation worse.

The Mexican president declared: “Expectations were created that with the government of President Biden there would be a better treatment of migrants. And this has caused Central American migrants, and also from our country, wanting to cross the border thinking that it is easier to do so.”

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