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.
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.
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.”