House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) said in a statement Tuesday that President Joe Biden handing out vaccines to illegal immigrants before U.S. citizens should be considered a “slap in the face” to millions of Americans waiting for the coronavirus vaccine.
Scalise, the ranking member of the Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, released a statement after Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Monday that the agency would provide “equal access to the COVID-19 vaccines” for “undocumented immigrants.”
“It is a moral and public health imperative to ensure that all individuals residing in the United States have access to the vaccine. DHS encourages all individuals, regardless of immigration status, to receive the COVID-19 vaccine once eligible under local distribution guidelines,” the DHS explained in a statement Monday.
To reach underserved and rural communities, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in collaboration with federal partners, will coordinate efforts to establish and support fixed facilities, pop-up or temporary vaccination sites, and mobile vaccination clinics. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not conduct enforcement operations at or near vaccine distribution sites or clinics. Consistent with ICE’s long-standing sensitive locations policy, ICE does not and will not carry out enforcement operations at or near health care facilities, such as hospitals, doctors’ offices, accredited health clinics, and emergent or urgent care facilities, except in the most extraordinary of circumstances.
Scalise said that this move amounts to a slap in the face for Americans waiting to get the vaccine.
President Biden’s plan to vaccinate illegal immigrants ahead of Americans who are currently being denied the COVID-19 vaccine is a slap in the face to millions of hard-working families who have been waiting months for the vaccine and expect Washington leaders to be looking out for them. This pattern of President Biden putting non-citizens ahead of American citizens is even more disturbing after last week’s actions that put foreign jobs over American jobs; now he is making Americans wait to get the vaccine behind people who came here illegally. Even worse, this comes on top of the recent exposure of the Biden administration’s original plan to prioritize vaccinating terrorists at Guantanamo Bay over Americans here at home. It is time that President Biden puts Americans first when it comes to protecting the hard-working families who are counting on Washington to put them first.