The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said borderline patrol agents would look subject up to termination if not vaccinated against the COVID-19, a illness caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
“DHS [Department of Homeland Security] is actively moving to guarantee compliance with President [Joe] Biden’s Executive Order requiring that each national employees beryllium vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 22, but successful constricted circumstances where an objection is required by law,” CBP Media Relations Headquarters Branch Chief Justin Long told The Epoch Times Thursday via email, responding to a question of what volition hap to borderline patrol agents if they don’t get vaccinated by the deadline.
“Employees who take to stay unvaccinated for COVID-19 and person not received oregon person a pending petition for a legally required exemption volition beryllium taxable to discipline, up to and including removal from national service,” the email reads.
As portion of the DHS, CBP is the nation’s largest instrumentality enforcement bureau and has much than 60,000 employees. The Border Patrol has a workforce of implicit 20,000 agents assigned to patrol the much than 6,000 miles of America’s onshore borders. In the fiscal twelvemonth 2019, erstwhile the full borderline patrol agents fig was nether 20,000, astir 17,000 (pdf) were deployed astatine the southwest border.
Long didn’t respond to however galore borderline patrol agents person been afloat oregon partially vaccinated oregon if immoderate exemptions person been granted.
But Long said that DHS has developed an online instrumentality for unit to study their existent vaccination status, called the Vaccination Status System (VSS). This strategy is disposable to each DHS employees but the U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Coast Guard, which person their ain reporting systems.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) told NTD Wednesday that helium had been told up to 5,000 borderline patrol agents would “separate” implicit the vaccine mandate.
“If that galore were to leave, arsenic porous arsenic our borderline already is, you genuinely person a nationalist information situation on your border,” Biggs said.
The authorities is mandating vaccine upon borderline patrol agents, but not “people who participate the state illegally, and immoderate estimates are good implicit 20 percent person COVID,” Biggs said.
In an interrogation connected Aug. 9, Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz said that agents’ vaccination rates varied widely, from a debased of 30 percent successful the Rio Grande Valley assemblage successful Texas to arsenic precocious arsenic 78 percent successful different sectors on the border, according to the Washington Post.
Long said successful the email that “we expect reported vaccination rates to summation passim the adjacent fewer weeks some owed to an summation successful COVID-19 vaccinations and an summation successful reporting.”
Two Congressmen besides expressed interest that unvaccinated borderline patrol agents are facing removal amid the deteriorating borderline crisis.
“For years and done aggregate administrations, it has been hard to enlistee and clasp men and women to service successful U.S Border patrol. The locations of the occupation are typically distant and the occupation is often unsafe and hard,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Rep. Tom McClintock (R-Calif.) said successful a letter dated Sept. 28 to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
“It is simply unbelievable that the Biden Administration volition let COVID-positive amerciable aliens to surge crossed the borderline but volition terminate dedicated instrumentality enforcement officers who bash not comply with Biden’s mandate,” the missive said.
The 2 Congressmen urged Mayorkas to find “reasonable accommodations for CBP officers” who take not to person the vaccine. However, from the email CBP sent to The Epoch Times, the lone accommodations are apt spiritual oregon aesculapian exemptions.
“Employees whitethorn besides petition a tenable accommodation, including a spiritual oregon aesculapian exemption, by Nov. 9,” the email reads. Employees besides request to certify their vaccination presumption by the aforesaid day—Nov. 9.
According to DHS’s requirements, the deadline to beryllium afloat vaccinated is Nov. 22, truthful employees person to instrumentality the 2nd dose of Pfizer oregon Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, oregon the azygous dose of Johnson & Johnson, nary aboriginal than Nov. 8.
CBP reported over 1.5 cardinal encounters astatine the confederate borderline during the fiscal twelvemonth 2021, adjacent without September’s data.
Li Hai is simply a New York-based newsman for The Epoch Times.