22,000 Unvaccinated DHS Employees Sitting in Limbo, Documents Reveal

As the border crisis worsens, DHS’ posture on the COVID vaccine mandate may force a massive employee exodus

July 6, 2022

(Washington DC) – The Functional Government Initiative (FGI) has received documents from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) revealing the potential impact of the federal government’s vaccine mandate on DHS employees. The data shows that nearly 22,000 employees from the department critical to our national security sought a waiver in late 2021, but the agency has refused to provide any clarity on whether they will face termination or adverse employment actions.

As part of an ongoing investigation into how the federal government’s response to COVID-19 has harmed the federal workforce and operations, FGI sought information on DHS’ vaccine mandate. FGI’s records request sought aggregate numbers on requests, approvals, and denials for exemptions – information DHS already had been instructed to compile by the Administration. After months of delay, the documents that FGI received reveal that 22,000 DHS employees are at risk of termination for not bowing to the Administration’s demand that they receive multiple injections of the COVID-19 vaccine. These employees submitted religious or medical exemption waivers as required by DHS but have yet to learn how the department will handle their waiver requests. As a result, DHS has left these employees and their families wondering from week-to-week whether they’ll continue to have a job.

This uncertainty not only affects affect DHS employees and their families but also affects national security and the untamed border crisis. With the administration mulling terminating Title 42, which ironically would eliminate measures put in place to keep COVID-19 out of the United States, DHS cannot afford to lose a single employee. Laying off 22,000 employees would be a huge step in the wrong direction and put America’s national security at risk. Just last week, we witnessed just how gruesome the border crisis has gotten when a tractor trailer was found with more than 50 dead migrants locked inside. DHS needs to bring more security personnel into the Department rather than threatening a major layoff.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:

“DHS has left 22,000 employees and their families wondering each week if they’ll have a job. This is not how a functional government agency operates. Leaving employees anxious about their futures will undermine the Department’s ability to retain a dedicated and productive workforce needed now more than ever. If Secretary Mayorkas were truly serious about ending this year-and-a-half crisis, he would focused on ensuring current DHS employees keep their jobs and on hiring more staff to help them, not effectively forcing tens of thousands of employees to leave.”