All it took was a new COVID-19 variant for President Joe Biden to implement policies he decried as xenophobic and racist as recently as last year.
Late last month, the Biden administration announced that it was suspending travel from eight African countries after South African researchers discovered a new COVID-19 variant called omicron. While the severity of the new variant remains unknown, the administration has insisted that they acted out of an abundance of caution.
This flies in the face of Biden’s attitude towards former President Donald Trump’s travel ban on China, which Trump implemented in January 2020, shortly after the first case of COVID-19 was detected in the U.S. Biden accused Trump at the time of engaging in “hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering” in his response to the pandemic. Biden has now changed his tune, but the latest travel ban is unlikely to have any positive effects. Why was such a ban xenophobic just a year ago but acceptable now?
While banning travel from South Africa and other neighboring countries certainly makes sense, the move will ultimately prove pointless as long as the Biden administration refuses to secure the border. If people who live in South Africa want to come to the U.S, they have a simple way to get around Biden’s travel ban. South Africans or anyone else can simply fly to Mexico, cross the border and almost certainly be released into the general population as part of the Biden administration’s catch-and-release program.
While Trump’s COVID-19 response prioritized closing America’s borders, Biden has flung our borders wide open, causing record migration surges amid the ongoing pandemic. While Biden administration officials and other liberal elites love to flatter themselves by boasting of their devotion to science, the science here does not support their agenda. When pressed about the rationale of banning travel from South Africa while keeping the southern border wide open, Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, essentially said that it doesn’t matter since the omicron variant will spread in the U.S. no matter what.
“I think given what we know about the transmissibility and a likely transmissibility advantage of omicron … once it gets in there, it will likely, under the radar screen, be spreading no matter what you do to keep people out or not,” Fauci said in a recent interview with Fox News.
That Fauci dodged the question and did not even pretend to offer a scientific justification for the administration’s policies requiring everyone except illegal aliens to comply with burdensome covid regulations is telling. In fact, aliens coming across the border are the only people not subject to the stringent mandates the Biden administration has repeatedly claimed are necessary to control the virus.
The administration is forcing all other foreign travelers to show both proof of vaccination and proof of a negative test within 24 hours of their flight, an extremely burdensome requirement for foreign travelers visiting family members in the U.S. The administration is also trying to force private citizens in the U.S. to get vaccinated or lose their jobs, although that particular mandate has been halted by the court system.
There is of course no scientific justification for exempting illegal aliens from all of these mandates. The only reason illegal aliens are exempt from Biden’s mandates is because his administration does not want to do anything to deter potential Democratic voters from making the long and dangerous trek to the U.S. southern border.
While the administration has offered vaccines to some aliens, just a small percentage of them have been vaccinated before entering the U.S. Regardless of one’s stance on vaccine mandates, all Americans should be appalled at this obscene double standard. There is simply no justification for allowing unvaccinated illegal aliens to move freely and work in the U.S., while not affording the same liberties to American citizens who have not been vaccinated. This double standard becomes more outrageous when you consider the fact that the Biden administration has mandated vaccines for border patrol agents, many of whom already have natural immunity from being infected by the scores of aliens Biden has invited to cross the border.
I am not opposed to the implementation of travel bans to slow the spread of COVID. Many countries that have actually closed their borders have had success in containing the virus, but it is clear that this is not in the cards for the U.S. Any good Biden’s African travel ban will do will easily be undone by the ongoing catastrophe at our southern border. This makes Biden’s travel ban counterproductive at worst and pointless at best.
William J. Davis is a communications associate for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of mass migration.