Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa) introduced legislation on Wednesday that would have required migrants to have a negative COVID-19 test before being released from Customs and Border Protection detention. House Democrats voted against the legislation.
“Today, I offered my REACT Act on the House floor, which would require DHS to give a COVID test to everyone crossing our border illegally,” Meeks tweeted.
In addition, she said that the “The majority chose to block this commonsense bill that would ensure the health and safety of border patrol and border communities,”
Today, I offered my REACT Act on the House floor, which would require DHS to give a COVID test to everyone crossing our border illegally.
— Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, M.D. (@RepMMM) September 29, 2021
More than 12,000 migrants, most of whom were from Haiti, were allowed to enter the United States last week. In order to be released, no negative COVID-19 test was needed.
FLOOR ALERT: @HouseDemocrats blocked @HouseGOP requests to consider @RepMMM's commonsense bill that simply requires illegal immigrants are tested for COVID-19 before their release into the U.S., unlike the 12,000 Haitian migrants admitted by @POTUS last week. pic.twitter.com/mj4r9LmXWH
— House Rules Committee (@RulesReps) September 29, 2021
Another tweet from Miller-Meeks on Wednesday said that “The Administration must act immediately to help secure our border.”
“I joined a letter this week led by @RepTonyGonzales demanding the President fully enforce current federal immigration laws,” she said.
Miller-Meeks introduced the REACT Act for the first time in March (Requiring Every Alien Receive a COVID-19 Test). As stated in a press release issued by her office, the congresswoman’s proposal would compel the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to test all illegal border crossers for COVID-19 before allowing them to be released into our communities.
Miller-Meeks has been on this issue since early March when she said, “This week, I traveled to El Paso, Texas, to meet with CBP agents and officers. I saw firsthand the crisis they are facing, and I believe it is our job in Congress to address it and assist them. Approximately 50% of agents have tested positive for COVID-19, and very few migrants are being tested.”
“My REACT Act would require that every migrant released from CBP or ICE custody is tested and receives a negative test. Border security and immigration is not an issue that only affects border states, it affects every community across the country. By ensuring that individuals entering the country are negative for COVID-19, we can help keep our communities safe and healthy.”
According to statistics from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the number of COVID-19 cases has allegedly increased in illegal immigrant detention facilities as well as other locations.
More than 7,500 coronavirus infections were recorded between April and July, according to the data, which was originally published by The New York Times in July. During the same period, it is claimed that the number of individuals detained increased from 14,000 to more than 26,000 people.
As reported by the New York Times, the number of positive cases recorded in ICE prisons since April account “for more than 40 percent of all cases reported in ICE facilities since the pandemic began, according to a New York Times analysis of ICE data.”
Increased testing is responsible for a portion of the recent spike. A spokesperson for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement stated that all incoming prisoners were tested for the coronavirus and were placed in isolation for 14 days upon arrival, according to the article.
Aside from that, only a very small proportion of illegal immigrants who enter the nation are already immunized against diseases.
Low vaccination rates, coupled with a lack of social distancing measures and congested environments, have created many chances for the transmission of the coronavirus to take place.