As millions of American citizens continue to wait to get vaccinated against the China-originated novel coronavirus, the Biden administration has directed “equal access to the COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine distribution sites for undocumented immigrants.”
“It is a moral and public health imperative to ensure that all individuals residing in the United States have access to the vaccine,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a press release issued Monday. “DHS encourages all individuals, regardless of immigration status, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine once eligible under local distribution guidelines.”
House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) blasted Biden for effectively allowing illegal immigrants to “jump ahead of other Americans” who wish to be vaccinated.
“In President Biden’s first week and a half, two weeks in office, we’ve seen millions, potentially, of jobs in America destroyed, but now you’re looking at his latest plan on the vaccine,” Scalise said during an appearance on Fox News. “He inherited a great plan from President Trump through ‘Operation Warp Speed,’ where we’re gonna be vaccinating 100 million Americans in the next 100 days, and what has President Biden done?”
“First we exposed he was trying to prioritize Gitmo terrorists over Americans in getting the vaccine,” Scalise highlighted. “They pulled back on that after we exposed it. But then, now, he’s saying that people who came here illegally can jump ahead of other Americans who have been waiting to get the vaccine on that prioritization.”
After intense backlash, the Biden administration halted plans on Saturday to begin offering vaccinations to the 40 prisoners detained at Guantanamo Bay, where alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammad is being held, The Daily Wire reported.
“No Guantanamo detainees have been vaccinated. We’re pausing the plan to move forward, as we review force protection protocols,” said a statement from Pentagon press secretary John Kirby. “We remain committed to our obligations to keep our troops safe.”
“So what is this priority?” Scalise questioned Biden. “I thought we were supposed to be looking out for hard-working families. We’re trying to get our economies opened. We’re trying to get our schools safely reopened, and you do that by vaccinating everybody who wants to get the vaccine.”
“Clearly not everybody who wants to get it has been able to get that vaccine, and now President Biden’s gonna allow people who come here illegally to get the vaccine before some Americans who have been waiting for months,” Scalise blasted. “It’s mind-boggling that this is his plan, and by the way, it sets back his 100 day plan because there’s only so much vaccine to go around.”
The press release from the Biden administration regarding illegal immigrants and the COVID-19 vaccine, issued Feb. 1, reads in full:
DHS and its Federal government partners fully support equal access to the COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine distribution sites for undocumented immigrants. It is a moral and public health imperative to ensure that all individuals residing in the United States have access to the vaccine. DHS encourages all individuals, regardless of immigration status, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine once eligible under local distribution guidelines.
DHS carries out its mission, including all areas within its COVID-19 response, without discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality, or other protected class, and in compliance with law and policy. Further, DHS supports the equitable and efficient distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to all populations, including historically underserved communities.
To reach underserved and rural communities, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in collaboration with federal partners, will coordinate efforts to establish and support fixed facilities, pop-up or temporary vaccination sites, and mobile vaccination clinics. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not conduct enforcement operations at or near vaccine distribution sites or clinics. Consistent with ICE’s long-standing sensitive locations policy, ICE does not and will not carry out enforcement operations at or near health care facilities, such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, accredited health clinics, and emergent or urgent care facilities, except in the most extraordinary of circumstances.
DHS is committed to ensuring that every individual who needs a vaccine can get one, regardless of their immigration status.
H/t CNS News