As Thousands of un-vaccinated migrants enter the US, Biden is ready to fire 4,000 Border Patrol Agents for not being vaccinated

The Biden administration could terminate thousands of Border Patrol agents who have refused the coronavirus vaccine in the coming days, even as the federal government struggles to stay staffed amid the greatest migration crisis in national history.

Internal data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection shared with the Washington Examiner show that nearly 4,000 of 21,000 total agents admitted to being unvaccinated as of late November 2021, shortly after the government required that all employees disclose their status.

President Joe Biden’s September 2021 mandate that all federal workers be fully vaccinated was put on hold in court in January, but another court reversed the decision in April, putting agents back up for termination.

“That bar is now lifted, and the federal agencies are now clear to proceed with whatever disciplinary actions they were going to move on with respect to unvaccinated people,” said John J. Michels Jr., counsel for the Federal Practice Group in Washington and lead counsel in the lawsuit that blocked former President George W. Bush’s federal mandate for an anthrax vaccine.

The government is waiting for one court decision, which could come as soon as Friday, that would allow agencies to begin enforcing the vaccine policy, though agencies such as CBP have already begun planning how to target employees who refuse to cooperate, including those who will not disclose their status or register for tracking systems.

“Agencies have lately adopted policies that penalize employees who have not disclosed their COVID-19 vaccination status by requiring them to take regular COVID-19 tests as a condition of coming to work (and disciplining them if they don’t),” David Dorey, a lawyer and former chief of staff of policy at the Department of Homeland Security, said. “I view CBP’s implementation of COVID-19-related requirements as more aggressive than other agencies, including often demonstrating outright hostility to those who question them.”

Three Border Patrol agents stationed at various parts of the U.S.-Mexico border spoke exclusively with the Washington Examiner about vaccine waivers and said they have not received responses to their reasonable accommodation request in the nine months since they submitted them, putting them in purgatory.

“That was expressed to us in at least 25 emails — that we would receive disciplinary action up to termination,” the first agent said.

Two of the three agents also filed secondary complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that allege the government has no right to discipline them over or inquire about their religion or health, the bases for their exemption requests.

The agents said that because they each tested positive for coronavirus, they developed natural immunity.

“I worked through the pandemic back when it was really scary before the vaccine. I survived, got the first strain of COVID around Christmas 2020, my body fought it off and I have antibodies,” a second agent wrote in a message. “So much so that a year later (around the holidays of 2021, I tested positive again and was able to brush it off like a minor cold.”

A third agent said that at one of the Border Patrol’s largest migrant processing centers on the southern border, where between 1,000 and 8,000 people have been detained on a daily basis over the past year, agents were ordered to stop testing all adults and families because the percentage of people testing positive “got too high” and “looked bad” for the government.

“You’re going to try to tell me that after I’ve been doing this job for two years now in the field that I’m somehow the danger, not the fact that almost every single day, we’ll have at least one to maybe four COVID-positive kids come through,” the third agent said in a phone call.

Michels called the agent’s experience “ironic given the fact that we’re not testing the people coming across the border.”

The third agent, who is in management and has received a cash award for outstanding service every year of his two decades with the Border Patrol, described the idea that he could be forced out of work despite his perfect record as illogical.

 

 

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/thousands-of-unvaccinated-border-patrol-agents-fear-for-their-future

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