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Tuesday evening, after a news report from NBC News delineated a number of illegal immigrants released by the U.S. Border Patrol who then tested positive for COVID-19 and subsequently said they planned to visit other cities and states, Arkansas GOP Senator Tom Cotton fired, “President Biden’s border crisis is a superspreader event.”
President Biden's border crisis is a superspreader event. https://t.co/IwphAnqrzn
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) March 3, 2021
The NBC News report retweeted by Cotton cited one immigrant who tested positive and stated she was headed for Houston. The report added:
Other migrant families who also said they had tested positive were waiting to go to other destinations: North Carolina, Maryland and New Jersey. The city of Brownsville administers these rapid tests at the bus station, after migrant families are released by the Border Patrol. A spokesperson for Brownsville confirmed that, since they began doing these tests Jan. 25, 108 migrants have tested positive for Covid-19, which is 6.3 percent of those who took the test.
Cotton has not been reticent to criticize Biden even before he became president. In April 2020, writing in National Review, Cotton blasted Biden for his consistent support for Communist China. “Joe Biden Is China’s Choice for President,” declared the title.
Cotton began by noting, “The Democratic Party has always been weak on national security when it comes to China. But some credit is due when it comes to China’s atrocious human-rights record and its theft of American jobs. For a generation, prominent Democrats loudly criticized Beijing on these fronts … Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi have been longstanding China trade hawks, for instance. Even a socialist like Bernie Sanders has been a reliable critic.”
Then Cotton turned his sights on Biden: “Despite the occasional box-checking, wishy-washy comment slapping Beijing on the wrist for the worst of its abuses, the reality is that the former vice president’s support of the People’s Republic of China is deep and longstanding.”
Cotton listed Biden’s actions that buttressed his attack: When Biden served as the senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 1990s, he shot down opposition to granting China most-favored-nation trade status and World Trade Organization membership. As Chinese President Xi Jinping seized absolute power, Biden “continued to push for closer ties and even more trade,” while millions of American jobs were being lost. Cotton also cited circumstances surrounding Hunter Biden and China.
In February 2018, Cotton, speaking of a GOP immigration proposal, explained why some changes were needed:
I know there are a lot of half-measures floating around the Senate right now saying that we should give legal status to these 1.8 million people in return for a small pittance at the southern border, but it simply will not do. It is not responsible because if we give those people legal status, we’ll have two negative side effects.
First, we’ll create more incentives, perverse incentives, to encourage illegal immigration with minor children to this country. That is dangerous. It is immoral — not to mention unwise from our national interests. Second, if we give legal status to these 1.8 million people, we’ll create a whole new pool of legal permanent residents, and ultimately citizens, who can naturalize their extended family to include their parents — the very people who created the problem to begin with, undermining the rationale for the program to begin with. Remember, that rationale is that children ought not pay for the sins of the parents, but surely parents can pay for the sins of the parents. …
So, if we do those things — provide legal status for the 1.8 million people who find themselves in this situation through no fault of their own, but control those negative side effects by securing our southern border and ending the practice of extended family chain migration, we will have a bill that can become a law. At the same time though, we’ll also grandfather in every person who’s currently in the backlog waiting to come to this country, who has applied to get a green card because they have a parent or child or sibling in this country — some of whom have been waiting up to twenty years. So no one will be cut out of that waiting line.