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Rep. Norman Leads Letter to Secretary Mayorkas Concerning DHS Vaccine Mandate for Non-U.S. Citizens Entering the Country

On Monday, Rep. Ralph Norman (SC-5) led a letter to the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas expressing concern regarding the implementation of a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for travelers and visa holders entering the country. 
On January 22, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began requiring all non-U.S. citizens entering the country through land ports and ferry terminals to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. This requirement includes essential workers such as H-2A temporary agricultural workers and truck drivers.
This letter was co-signed by 35 of Rep. Norman's colleagues in the House of Representatives, and addresses several issues with this DHS policy, including:
  • the burdens this mandate will have on the arrival of H-2A workers this year, which will negatively affect our already fragile supply chain;
  • the fact that vaccine availability varies widely across Mexico;
  • the fact that some commonly available vaccines in Mexico are not authorized by the Food & Drug Administration or World Health Organization, and therefore do not meet the requirements of this mandate;
It calls on Sec. Mayorkas to "provide employers and employees flexibility regarding the vaccine requirement" and "reach a solution that protects our borders, our workforce, and our supply chain." This letter has the support of the American Trucking Associations and the American Farm Bureau Federation.

“Many workers who travel to the United States seasonally do not have the same access to the vaccines approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration which exclusively qualify entry,” said Rep. Norman on Monday. “Despite the historic supply and labor shortages, the Biden administration has upheld this destructive vaccine mandate. Agricultural employers already depend on nonimmigrant foreign workers to fill domestic labor shortages. This policy does little to mitigate the spread of the virus and hurts essential industries along the way.”