The United States-Mexico border has been closed for non-essential travel since March of 2020 in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19. Today, the border reopened to foreign travelers with vaccination cards, although minors under the age of 18 are exempt from the requirement.
A rising surge of illegal aliens attempting to penetrate the Texas-Mexico border followed the inauguration of President Joe Biden in January of 2021. Over the summer, thousands of migrants congregated under the Del Rio bridge, creating a border and humanitarian crisis.
By mid-November, the Biden administration is supposed to reinstitute the Remain in Mexico policy, which should theoretically halt some of the surge of illegal aliens. More than 1.7 million border encounters between U.S. Border Patrol and illegal aliens have already occurred between January and September of 2021. The data for October is not yet available. This is a million-person discrepancy from 2020 and about an 800,000-person discrepancy from 2019, with the numbers still rising.
Meanwhile, although legal travelers are expected to present proof of vaccination to enter the country, the illegal aliens that have entered—and even some that have been released—remain unquestioned on their vaccination status. Legal travelers generally number in the millions just in Brownsville, Texas. For the month of August in the years pre-COVID (2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019) more than a million legal travelers entered through Brownsville via buses, personal vehicles, or as pedestrians.
President Biden’s border crisis has little chance of disappearing under the progressive policies favored by his administration. Meanwhile, Biden’s double-standard vaccination policies for legal and illegal travelers continue to create frustration.
In January, following the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule requiring employer-vaccine mandates, non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. permanent residents traveling for essential purposes will be required to show proof of vaccination before entering the country. This could further affect the trucking and shipping industries, thereby weakening the supply chain.