The November 22 deadline for Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents to get the Covid-19 vaccine is approaching, and the Biden administration is remaining firm in their threat to terminate agents who do not report that they have received it. This mandate could cut the number of border patrol agents by more than half, according to Fox News.
Fox News reports, “according to the document [obtained from a source within CBP], as of October 25, 2021, 48% of border patrol agents have not responded to the reporting mandate. Of the 52% who had reported their vaccination status, 90% reported having received one or more COVID-19 jabs.”
An October 30 email from President Biden obtained by Fox News, demands that CBP supervisors order their employees to report their vaccination status by November 8, and threatens the supervisors if they do not. The email reads, “Supervisors who fail to have the required discussions with their employees will be subject to potential discipline for insubordination, up to removal from federal service.” In the email, President Biden includes “discussion points” and a log that supervisors are required to maintain and submit regarding their discussions with employees. Former acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan told Fox News that the requirement for supervisors to speak to each of their 64,000 employees is a severely time-consuming task. This is especially not easy when the border crisis is raging.
Morgan argued that when an agency has to pressure supervisors to this extent, it shows that the mandate has been a “colossal failure,” and having to “strong-arm” leadership is a “red flag.” A CBP source told Fox News that employees are receiving multiple emails each day regarding the Covid-19 vaccine, and they include videos of CBP or Homeland Security employees who have been affected by it. Some Border Patrol agents who have spoken to Fox News said that they actually do have the vaccine, but “object to the mandate, particularly considering there is no such mandate for those crossing the border illegally.”
The crisis at the southern border is intensifying with over 192,000 migrants encountered in September and more than 1.7 million in the 2021 fiscal year; however, the full data on the number of illegal immigrants released into the U.S. is yet to be released from the Department of Homeland Security.
The threat of losing over half of CBP agents includes ports of entry in addition to the southern border and other areas as well. Still, President Biden is firm in his order for them to either get vaccinated or face the consequences.
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Watchdog: Pentagon likely rushed denials of COVID-19 vaccine Religious Exemption requests
The Army only approved just 24 religious COVID-19 vaccine exemption requests out of a total 8,514 requests submitted by active duty soldiers, and 1,602 requests have been rejected while the rest remain pending.
Military.com obtained information showing the Pentagon rushed vaccine exemption denials:
Sean O’Donnell, the Pentagon’s inspector general, wrote in a June 2 memo to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin obtained by Military.com calling attention to a “concerning” trend in which military brass rushed to reject vaccine-exemption petitions rather than giving each request due consideration.
“We found a trend of generalized assessments rather than the individualized assessment that is required by Federal law and DoD and Military Service policies,” he said. “Some of the appellate decisions included documentation that demonstrated a greater consideration of facts and circumstances involved in a request.”
In March, a Texas judge blocked the Navy from dismissing sailors with pending exemption requests and in August, a Florida federal judge ordered class action relief and granted an injunction barring the federal government from enforcing the vaccine mandate for the Marine Corps.
National Review writes, “For the last year, military has been struggling with a recruitment problem. As of July, with only three months left in the fiscal year, the Army had met only 40 percent of its recruitment goal and reduced its active-duty force by 12,000 troops.”
O’Donnell calculated that officials likely gave each appeal a cursory glance rather than a thorough examination, possibly opening the door to litigation from service members who had to resign after they failed to obtain exemptions. Across all the branches, there were about 50 denials per day in a 90-day period, he determined. Over a thousand Coast Guardsmen have already tried to launch a class-action lawsuit in response to their being refused religious exemptions, the publication noted.
“The volume and rate at which decisions were made to deny requests is concerning,” the memo read. “Assuming a 10-hour work day with no breaks or attention to other matters, the average review period was about 12 minutes for each package. Such a review period seems insufficient to process each request in an individualized manner and still perform the duties required of their position.”
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