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July 15, 2020

Thompson and Rice Urge DHS and CBP to Halt Deployment of Officers to Southwest Border

(WASHINGTON) – Today, Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Border Security, Facilitation, and Operations, sent a letter to Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, and Mark Morgan, Acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), urging the Administration to immediately reverse plans to deploy additional DHS personnel from across the United States during the coronavirus pandemic to the southwest border.

Unfortunately, six CBP port employees and one Border Patrol Agent have already passed away from COVID-19, and 1,355 CBP personnel have tested positive. Also, the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo sectors are currently experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitals in the area are approaching full capacity.

“This proposed deployment would unnecessarily put the lives of federal employees at risk from COVID-19 while potentially straining already overwhelmed local health resources,” the Members write.

“It is critical that DHS and CBP prioritize the health and safety of its workforce, their families, and the local communities. This must include immediately reversing dangerous plans to deploy additional DHS personnel to the southwest border.”

Link to letter

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