President Joe Biden on Tuesday was asked about the high number of unvaccinated migrants that are crossing the southern border as the U.S. is facing a surge of coronavirus cases.
The story: During a press conference on Tuesday, Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked the president about the decision to allow migrants, who have not tested for COVID-19, to cross the border as the U.S. is trying to slow down the spread of the delta variant.
“You just said there is no wall high enough and no ocean wide enough to protect us from the virus. So what is the thinking behind letting untested and unvaccinated migrants cross the southern border into U.S. cities in record numbers?” asked Doocy.
Biden’s response: “We have not withdrawn the order that is sometimes critical, or criticized, saying that unvaccinated people should…go back across the border. But unaccompanied children is a different story…That’s the most humane thing to do, is to test them and to treat them and not send them back alone.”
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How we got here: The Biden administration this week said it will extend a Trump-era border policy, also known as the Title 42 order, that allows authorities to evict anyone who crosses the border illegally. The decision was announced on Monday by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The health agency introduced the policy last year amid the pandemic.
“This order was issued on August 2, 2021 and shall remain in effect until the CDC Director determines that the danger of further introduction of COVID-19 into the United States from covered noncitizens has ceased to be a serious danger to the public health, and the Order is no longer necessary to protect the public health,” the CDC said in a statement.
In response, the American Civil Liberties Union said it would move forward with a lawsuit that seeks to force the administration to lift the order for migrant families.
“We gave the Biden administration more than enough time to fix any problems left behind by the Trump administration, but it has left us no choice but to return to court. Families’ lives are at stake,” said ACLU’s attorney Lee Gelernt.