Despite warnings from the Biden administration signaling those who cross into the U.S. illegally will be sent back home, it appears the thousands of Haitian migrants camped out in the border town of Del Rio, Texas, have been released into the country.
Chad Wolf, the former acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, told CBN News this week the “vast majority” of Haitians who were situated under the bridge in Texas have since been released into the U.S., referring to statements from current DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who said as much Sunday.
As far as where migrants go after being released, Wolf said many remain in towns along the southern border while others are handed over to nonprofits that work alongside the federal government to “fund their transportation to anywhere in the country they would like to go.”
“So if a migrant says, ‘I would like to go to Seattle or Chicago or New York or Atlanta,’ they are put on a train, a bus, or airplane to be flown to that city of their choice,” said Wolf, now a visiting fellow at the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at The Heritage Foundation.
“Most of these migrants have a place in mind they want to go,” he continued. “They usually have family in those places and they usually have some type of employment or a job lined up as well, so a lot of these migrants know exactly what they’re doing as they cross that border, as they’re being released into communities. They know exactly where they want to go and how they get there.”
President Joe Biden has faced an onslaught of criticism for the way he’s handled the border crisis. Among the chief complaints is the fact that the U.S. has not been testing migrants — to include the thousands of Haitians — for COVID-19 or requiring them to get vaccinated against the virus.
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Last Friday, Mayorkas was asked by reporters at the White House if any of the incoming Haitian migrants had “tested positive” for the coronavirus. In response, the DHS head said the government “did not test that population” and, as a result, “do not know” their infection status.
“I do not know, I should say, if I may be perfectly accurate — I do not know whether anyone was sick with COVID,” Mayorkas said. “We certainly had some individuals get sick, not specifically with COVID, to my knowledge, and we addressed their illnesses. In fact, we set up medical tents that had a certain standard of ability to address medical needs.”
Wolf, for his part, told CBN News the Biden administration “certainly has a double standard” when it comes to COVID-19 and vaccination against the virus.
“Not only do you have hundreds of thousands of folks coming across that border every month, there is [also] no requirement for vaccine,” Wolf said. “They have a choice. So the migrants have a choice, but some American citizens have no choice. And the Border Patrol, we’re hearing today, will be required to take the vaccine or perhaps risk losing their job by November.”
“So think about that,” he continued. “You have law enforcement officers that are dealing with these migrants and coming into contact with these migrants every day. The migrants have a choice on whether or not to take the vaccine, but the Border Patrol and law enforcement don’t.”
In response to Biden’s vaccination mandate on U.S. Border Patrol agents, U.S. Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) sent a letter to Mayorkas expressing their disbelief that the White House “will allow COVID-positive illegal aliens to surge across the border but will terminate dedicated law-enforcement officers who do not comply” with the president’s edict.
Wolf predicted there will be “another caravan or two” of migrants attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border before the start of the holiday season.
“They are incentivized — ‘they’ being the traffickers and the smugglers as well as the migrants — they’re incentivized because of the success of those Haitians in Del Rio getting across and now into American communities,” he said. “So they see that it can be successful.”
The former DHS head said the Biden administration has to work “to break up those caravans” by working with Mexican officials, changing their messaging, and retooling the policy in place, which he argued is “encouraging” people to cross the border by sending the message, “You won’t be removed. There will be no consequence for your illegal activity of coming across that border. You’ll be resettled here in the United States and you can go on with your life.”
“That is a significant pull factor that they really have to address if they don’t want to see caravan after caravan approach that border,” said Wolf.
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