Republican Rep. Andrew Clyde (Ga.) on Tuesday grilled Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas on the surge of migrants at the southern border and reports that detainees who tested positive for COVID-19 were released from facilities.
“Do you agree that U.S. citizens must present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within three days, to enter the country after flying internationally?” Clyde asked the Homeland Security Secretary at Tuesday’s House Homeland Security Committee hearing.
“I believe we require a negative test for individuals traveling internationally,” Mayorkas replied.
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“Yet,” Clyde went on to say, “there are thousands of foreign nationals that cross our borders and that are released into our communities—without us knowing if they’ve had a COVID-19 test or not.”
“There appears to be a more lenient standard for foreign nationals crossing our borders illegally than for American citizens,” he added. “So, why is that?”
“That is not true,” Mayorkas fired back.
“What do you mean it’s not true?” the Georgia Republican asked.
“It’s unequivocally not true for the reasons I’ve expressed,” Mayorkas doubled down.
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Clyde then asked if every foreign national crossing U.S. borders is being tested for COVID-19, to which Mayorkas said, “It is our policy to test individuals who are apprehended between the ports of entry […] and, if in fact they test positive, to quarantine them.”
“That is our policy, and we have built practices to execute on that policy,” the secretary added.
“Can assure the American people that no one who has been apprehended is released into our communities […] that still test positive for COVID-19?” Clyde pressed him.
“There were times earlier when individuals were apprehended, and we sought to expel them, and we were unable to expel them, and we were compelled to release them, and we did not have the opportunity to test them,” Mayorkas replied. “We have addressed that situation.”
“As we speak right now, you’re telling me that no one is released into our country that is COVID-19-positive?” Clyde inquired.
Mayorkas responded: “Congressman, allow me to repeat myself, if I may—”
“Well, that’s just a yes-or-no question,” Clyde interjected, which was followed by both interrupting each other.
“Congressman, if I may, the situation at the border is complex, and the complexity is evidenced by the questions throughout the morning,” Mayorkas said. “So please, if I may: it is our policy to test and to quarantine.”
“Okay,” Clyde said, interrupting him, “but are you executing that policy 100%?”
“We are doing the best we can to ensure that the policy is executed 100% of the time,” Mayorkas said, “that I can say.”
WATCH the full exchange here.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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NYC Mayor Adams’ budget cuts slash total number of police and education funds
“No city should be left to handle a national humanitarian crisis largely on its own, and without the significant and timely support we need from Washington, D.C., today’s budget will only be the beginning,” said New York City Democratic Mayor Eric Adams about his decision to make budget cuts as a result of the overwhelming migrant crisis.
However, those who will suffer from budget cuts to the city’s services to offset the cost of dealing with the ever-increasing number of migrants are those that are in place to make the city better.
“The cuts will see police freeze hiring and bring the total number of police officers below 30,000. It would further slash the education budget by $1 billion over two years and affect a litany of other agencies” reports Just The News.
Albeit, Adams admitted: “In all my time in government, this is probably one of the most painful exercises I’ve gone through.” More than 110,000 migrants have arrived in New York City over the past year, including roughly 13,000 sent from Texas by GOP Governor Greg Abbott as part of his ongoing bussing plan to send new arrivals to the U.S. to sanctuary cities.
However, similar to other leaders of sanctuary cities, Adams is unwilling to put his money where his mouth is. In September, Adams warned that the crisis would “destroy New York City” and begged the federal government to pay for his mess.
“I’m gonna tell you something, New Yorkers, never in my life have I had a problem that I didn’t see an ending to. I don’t see an ending to this,” Adams said at the time. “The federal government needs to do its job. We need the federal government, the Congress members, the Senate and the president to do their job: close the borders,” said Adams’ advisor Ingrid Lewis Martin insisted in early October. “And until you close the borders, you need to come on with a full-on decompression strategy where you can take all of our migrants and move them through our 50 states.”
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