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Border Patrol deputy chief says ‘300 to 400 border patrol agents’ a day are out of work quarantining

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By Jenny Goldsberry

US Border Patrol Deputy Chief Raul Ortiz announced in a press conference Thursday that he has hundreds of agents in quarantine as a result of contracting COVID-19 from migrants at the border. According to him, as many as 400 agents a day are out of commission because of the virus.

“What we’re experiencing now with unaccompanied children, family units, migrants from countries that we traditionally don’t experience, these tremendous flows from are what our Border Patrol agents are faced with each and every day,” Ortiz said. “Then you compound that with this COVID threat. At any given day, I may have between 300 and 400 Border Patrol agents that are in a quarantine status.”

As a result of contracting COVID-19, some have even died. “I wear this black badge over my badge because we’ve lost eight Border Patrol agents in the line of duty to COVID or to other events,” Ortiz explained. “And one is too many.”

This is among the first data set the public has received directly from the source. Earlier this week, CNN’s Brianna Keilar said stories about COVID cases at the border were “BS” and “racist.”

In response, Sara Carter tweeted at Keilar. “I’m sorry Brianna but you need to get down to the border and actually do some reporting,” Carter wrote. “It’s unbelievable how misinformed you are.”

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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Healthcare

CA to provide all low-income illegal immigrants health care at a cost of ‘$2.7 billion a year’

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On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a $307.9 billion operating budget “that pledges to make all low-income adults eligible for the state’s Medicaid program by 2024 regardless of their immigration status” reports the Associated Press.

The guarantee of free health care for low-income immigrants here illegally, is a “move that will provide coverage for an additional 764,000 people at an eventual cost of about $2.7 billion a year” adds the AP.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health care nonprofit, people living in the country illegally in 2020 accounted for roughly 7% of the population nationwide, or about 22.1 million people. The border crisis and number of migrants entering the United States illegally has skyrocketed to historic levels since 2020 when President Joe Biden took office.

Medicaid nationwide is the current combination of federal and state governments assisting Americans and low-income adults and children to receive free health care, but the federal government does not cover those living here illegally.

“Some states, including California, have used their own tax dollars to cover a portion of health care expenses for some low-income immigrants” reports the AP. “Now, California wants to be the first to do that for everyone.”

“This will represent the biggest expansion of coverage in the nation since the start of the Affordable Care Act in 2014,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a statewide consumer health care advocacy group. “In California we recognize (that) everybody benefits when everyone is covered.”

While 92% of Californians currently have some form of health insurance, “that will change once this budget is fully implemented, as adults living in the country illegally make up one of the largest groups of people without insurance in the state” the AP concludes.

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