There’s a certain irony in witnessing members of a party now infamous for downplaying the severity of COVID-19 use the disease as justification to keep the southern border tightly closed.
Twenty-six Republican senators signed a letter to President Biden requesting he keep a Trump-era CDC order, Title 42, in place that “allows the Department of Homeland Security to immediately expel aliens who would otherwise be held in congregate settings, including Border Patrol Stations and land Ports of Entry,” as The Dominion Post previously reported. Among the letter’s signees are Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and our own Sen. Shelley Moore Capito.
Title 42 was implemented to slow the spread of COVID-19, including by ensuring space for social distancing in government border facilities. In the letter, senators wrote, “If the CDC and the State Department believe that the threat of COVID-19 is actually increasing (and specifically in Mexico), it is contradictory for the Biden Administration to simultaneously revoke the public health authority used by immigration officials to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
There’s a simple solution to this supposed fear of immigrants spreading COVID-19: Send all those COVID vaccines many Republicans are refusing to take to the border. We suspect most, if not all, immigrants hoping for entry to the U.S. would gladly receive the vaccine in exchange for a chance to come to America.
Vaccination efforts across the United States have slowed or stalled, largely because we’ve gone through all the people who want to be vaccinated, made a significant dent in the population that was hesitant but could be convinced of the vaccines’ safety and efficacy and have now been stopped dead by the impenetrable wall of COVID-hoax believers and the populace who view COVID vaccination as a political statement rather than a public health matter.
Since we’re running short on Americans who will take the shot to protect themselves and others, why not offer the vaccines to immigrants at the southern border?
Senators also expressed concern about Border Patrol facilities potentially being overrun as soon as Title 42 is lifted, which is a more valid concern. However, their closed-border agenda shouldn’t be justified with flimsy public health excuses.
Speaking of closed borders and public health, Capito made a misleading statement when discussing the GOP’s letter to Biden. As The Dominion Post reported July 14: “While West Virginia isn’t a border state, she said, it’s affected by the flow of drugs, particularly fentanyl and methamphetamines, coming across the border.”
A Drug Enforcement Agency report from 2017 said controlled prescription drugs (such as opioids), fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamines were the greatest threats to West Virginians. Of the prescription drugs not provided by a medical or pharmaceutical professional, most pills came to the Mountain State via Detroit-based drug traffickers. The same is true for fentanyl and heroin.
As for methamphetamines, powder meth tends to be homegrown. Crystal meth tends to come to West Virginia from secondary or tertiary sellers, generally coming up from Charlotte or Atlanta, who in turn get the product from the Mexico-based suppliers that dominate the top levels of the market.
In other words, there is no direct cause-and-effect link between immigrants at the U.S.’s southern border seeking a chance at a better life and drug abuse and overdose deaths in West Virginia. To imply such is to employ a fearmongering and scapegoating tactic that blames someone seen as “other” for the problems we experience here at home.