Texas Border Communities Overwhelmed by COVID-Positive Migrants

In a recent interview with Fox News, McAllen, Texas, Mayor Javier Villalobos waived a red flag as communities along the Rio Grande Valley continue to be overwhelmed with COVID-positive migrants.

Mayor Villalobos told America’s Newsroom that their city is at a “breaking point.” “We cannot— we shouldn’t and we cannot let the immigrants roam around our city—especially with a high COVID rate. It used to be four, five, six percent—it’s over an excess of 16 percent positive. We have to protect our citizens no matter what.”

Given that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) does not always test migrants before releasing them into the country’s interior, this responsibility falls on local municipalities and non-government organizations. Since February, 7,000 COVID-positive migrants have been released into McAllen, with 1,500 of these cases occurring in the first week of August. According to Chris Cabrera, a vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, in some instances, CBP is being forced to release migrants after they test positive for the virus.

In La Joya, Texas, 17 miles west of McAllen, police were called after a migrant family was seen at a local restaurant coughing and sneezing without face coverings. When questioned by the La Joya Police Department, the family told authorities that they had just been released by CBP after informing them that they had tested positive for the coronavirus.

To make matters worse, cities have been told they have no authority to hold COVID-positive migrants, meaning they could infect community residents at a time when case numbers are surging nationally. “If they’re not COVID-negative I know they’re trying to discourage that [migrants from leaving]but we really don’t have that [ability]— not the city, not the county, law enforcement or Catholic Charities — have any legal authority to hold them,” McAllen spokeswoman Xochitl Mora told Border Report.

According to Mark Morgan, former acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, and a senior fellow at FAIR, the Biden administration has dropped off at least 40,000 COVID-positive illegal aliens into American cities. This means that the border crisis affects every city and state throughout the country, not just those along the Southwest border.

However, Mayor Villalobos said the border crisis could have been avoided had the Biden administration kept President Trump’s immigration policies in place. “You know with a stroke of a pen this can be taken care of. Seven, eight, nine months ago it was totally different, it was under control. I wish things could go back to the way they were.”

The reality is that this self-inflicted border crisis has worsened every month since President Biden has been in office. In July, there were 212,672 migrant encounters, a 21-year high. Until the Biden administration re-implements the successful Trump-era immigration policies, illegal aliens will continue pouring across the Southwest border, further compounding the surging COVID-19 pandemic.

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