Higgins, Guest, Bishop, Clyde: Biden’s Vaccination Mandate Threatens Border Security
WASHINGTON, DC – Republican members of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations are raising concerns that the Biden Administration’s vaccination mandate will negatively impact U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel and our overall border security.
With a record 1.7 million encounters at the southwest border in FY21, Border Patrol Agents are already overwhelmed at current staffing levels and simply cannot afford to lose any personnel due to the Biden Administration’s mandate.
Border Security Subcommittee Ranking Member Clay Higgins (R-LA), Vice Ranking Member Michael Guest (R-MS), Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC), and Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) outlined their concerns in a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
The members wrote, “If the Biden Administration really wanted to protect frontline Border Patrol Agents, then it would stop allowing unvetted and unvaccinated migrants to illegally cross our borders at their own discretion.”
“Across the nation, essential workers have been forced to leave the workforce because of COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Due to the trends of workforce attrition when COVID-19 vaccine mandates have gone into effect at workplaces, we are greatly concerned about the effects it will have on the already short-staffed U.S. Border Patrol,” they continued. “While border encounters remain well above 170,000 for the seventh month straight, it is clear that this crisis is not going to abate anytime soon.”
“If the U.S. Border Patrol loses essential personnel due to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, we are extremely concerned about their ability to maintain any semblance of operational control of our nation’s borders,” the members concluded.
The members requested that DHS provide detailed information on the number of fully vaccinated Border Patrol employees, its plan for employees who do not comply with the vaccination mandate, and how it will address attrition due to the mandate.
Read the full letter here.