Lawmakers press Biden admin. to explain why COVID positive migrants were transferred into U.S.

Many of the migrants were transferred to the U.S. from Mexico after Biden repealed Trump's "Remain in Mexico" policy

Updated: March 12, 2021 - 8:43pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Members of Congress from North Carolina are pressing the Biden Administration for answers regarding COVID positive migrants who were transferred from the border into Texas and North Carolina during the pandemic.

According to recent media reports, a significant portion of the COVID positive asylum seekers were transferred into the interior of the U.S. from Mexico due to President Biden’s repeal of former President Trump's "Remain in Mexico" policy, which required asylum seekers to stay inside of Mexico while awaiting their immigration court hearings. About 25,000 migrants are expected to be transferred in phases as a result of Biden's executive order ending the "Remain in Mexico" policy.

The other migrants had been transferred into the U.S. to await their hearings after they were apprehended crossing into the U.S. at the U.S.-Mexico border.

"The recent surge of migrants can be directly attributed to the Biden Administration's recent decisions to halt the Migrant Protection Protocols program, suspend border wall system construction, weaken immigration enforcement, and implement 'catch and release' at the border," the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Thursday. "These divisive policies rolled back President Trump's successful efforts to control our border. Simply put, these policies are reckless and are putting our constituents in danger."

The Republican lawmakers said there has been "no explanation to justify" releasing COVID-positive migrants into U.S. communities during the pandemic.

"This Administration's border security policies are creating devastating consequences that will set us back in the fight against COVID-19. Caseloads in North Carolina have fallen steadily since the new year, and the positivity rate recently fell to 5.8% -the lowest level since October 2020," the letter read.

"Our state is in a strong position to get our people back to work and end lockdown policies that harm families. Unfortunately, the Administration's decision to send COVID-positive illegal immigrants into North Carolina puts our state's recovery at risk and violates President Biden's pledge to beat the virus. Our constituents deserve to be put first, not last," the lawmakers wrote. 

The letter was signed by N.C. Republican lawmakers including Dan Bishop, Richard Hudson, Virginia Foxx, Patrick McHenry, David Rouzer, Ted Budd, Greg Murphy and Madison Cawthorn.