By Jordan Williams, The Hill
President Biden said Friday that undocumented immigrants should be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine without fear of being targeted by U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Biden made the remark during an interview with Univision during his visit to a vaccination site in Texas.
“I want to make sure they are able to get vaccinated and so they’re protected from COVID without the ICE or anyone interfering,” Biden said. “They should… not be arrested for showing for being able to get a vaccination.”
Biden also said he plans to make sure undocumented immigrants have food, noting that his $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief proposal increases funding for nutrition assistance.
The comments follow an announcement from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) earlier this month that said ICE was not conducting enforcement activities at or near COVID-19 vaccination sites.
“It is a moral and public health imperative to ensure that all individuals residing in the United States have access to the vaccine,” the agency said in a statement at the time. “DHS is committed to ensuring that every individual who needs a vaccine can get one, regardless of their immigration status.”
The Biden administration has emphasized widespread vaccination in an effort to rein in the COVID-19 outbreak.
The administration has particularly focused on increasing vaccinations among communities of color, which are getting the coronavirus shot at a much slower rate than white Americans.