Nearly 190,000 migrants were apprehended at the southern border in June, a record high which brings the total for the fiscal year to 1,119,204. With new variants of the COVID-19 virus becoming a large concern across the country, hundreds of thousands of migrants are being welcomed into the interior of the country with little to no COVID testing.
One border city announced that more than 7,000 COVID-positive migrants have been released into their community since February. The city of McAllen, Texas is located at the southern tip of the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) and is the largest city in Hidalgo County. As the epicenter of the current border crisis, the RGV has seen a 900 percent increase in the number of detainees who are testing positive for the virus. This sector accounts for 60 percent of all confirmed positive detainees in U.S. Border Patrol custody (USBP).
McAllen city officials claim that more than 1,500 COVID-positive illegal border crossers were released into the city in the past week alone. On August 5, Hidalgo County announced 18 new Delta variant cases as COVID cases among migrants increase, bringing the county’s total Delta cases to 23.
The Biden administration is not testing illegal border crossers before transporting them on buses and planes to various cities across the country. In the case of McAllen, illegal migrants are dropped off by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to Catholic Charities, where they receive testing from a third party. If they test positive, they are asked to quarantine and have the option of taking a room at a quarantine site. However, there is little known enforcement and as a result, many migrants are free to travel further into the interior of the country, spreading the virus as they go.
This is yet another example of Biden administration hypocrisy. While Americans are being forced into further restrictions due to the spread of the Delta variant, the border remains open and illegal migrants are met with little resistance. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) blasted President Biden in a press conference on August 4, exclaiming, “Why don’t you do your job? Why don’t you get this border secure? And until you do that, I don’t want to hear a blip about COVID from you.”
Meanwhile, the Biden administration continues to deflect responsibility. It is time to put the health and safety of the American people first. Close the border and return migrants attempting to enter the country illegally back to their country of origin immediately.