The November 22 deadline for Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents to get the Covid-19 vaccine is approaching, and the Biden administration is remaining firm in their threat to terminate agents who do not report that they have received it. This mandate could cut the number of border patrol agents by more than half, according to Fox News.
Fox News reports, “according to the document [obtained from a source within CBP], as of October 25, 2021, 48% of border patrol agents have not responded to the reporting mandate. Of the 52% who had reported their vaccination status, 90% reported having received one or more COVID-19 jabs.”
An October 30 email from President Biden obtained by Fox News, demands that CBP supervisors order their employees to report their vaccination status by November 8, and threatens the supervisors if they do not. The email reads, “Supervisors who fail to have the required discussions with their employees will be subject to potential discipline for insubordination, up to removal from federal service.” In the email, President Biden includes “discussion points” and a log that supervisors are required to maintain and submit regarding their discussions with employees. Former acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan told Fox News that the requirement for supervisors to speak to each of their 64,000 employees is a severely time-consuming task. This is especially not easy when the border crisis is raging.
Morgan argued that when an agency has to pressure supervisors to this extent, it shows that the mandate has been a “colossal failure,” and having to “strong-arm” leadership is a “red flag.” A CBP source told Fox News that employees are receiving multiple emails each day regarding the Covid-19 vaccine, and they include videos of CBP or Homeland Security employees who have been affected by it. Some Border Patrol agents who have spoken to Fox News said that they actually do have the vaccine, but “object to the mandate, particularly considering there is no such mandate for those crossing the border illegally.”
The crisis at the southern border is intensifying with over 192,000 migrants encountered in September and more than 1.7 million in the 2021 fiscal year; however, the full data on the number of illegal immigrants released into the U.S. is yet to be released from the Department of Homeland Security.
The threat of losing over half of CBP agents includes ports of entry in addition to the southern border and other areas as well. Still, President Biden is firm in his order for them to either get vaccinated or face the consequences.