WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Biden administration is preparing to offer vaccines to migrants in custody along the U.S.-Mexico border, The Washington Post reports.
Under the new plan, the Department of Homeland Security would vaccinate migrants soon after they enter the U.S. and before they are processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Previously, only a limited number of migrants detained in longer-term facilities had received the vaccine.
Migrants who are turned back to Mexico under the pandemic-era use of Title 42 will not get the vaccine initially, according to the report.
“The decision to vaccinate migrants who enter the U.S. is a positive step,” said Ali Noorani, President and CEO of the National Immigration Forum. “Moving forward, the administration should expand vaccine access to migrants expelled under Title 42. Doing so will benefit communities on both sides of the border and brings us closer to reopening the border to more trade, tourism and legal immigration.
“This federal plan on vaccines builds on existing health and safety efforts on the ground. Border communities, faith groups and nonprofits are helping ensure that asylum-seekers who enter the country are tested for COVID and properly quarantined should they test positive. This approach supports public health and safety for migrants and U.S. citizens alike.”