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Abbott Issues Executive Order to Limit Transportation of Migrants in Texas Who May Transmit COVID-19


The Republican governor ordered the authorities to detain any vehicle suspected of transporting immigrants who crossed irregularly, following an incident in La Joya in which a family - who was in quarantine after having tested positive for the coronavirus - went out to a restaurant without wearing a mask .

Amid the alarm in Texas over reports that the Border Patrol has released migrants sick with COVID-19 in several border communities, the state's Republican Governor, Greg Abbott, issued an executive order Wednesday to limit transportation. land of immigrants.

“No person other than a local, state or federal agent may provide ground transportation to a group of migrants who have been detained by CBP [Border Protection and Customs] for crossing the border illegally or who have been subject to expulsion under the Title 42 order, ”Abbot stated in a press release.

Abbot, who declared an emergency at the border due to the arrival of undocumented migrants and has begun to incarcerate them on trespassing charges,



blamed them for the rise in COVID-19 cases in the state

, despite the fact that his own government has eliminated health policies that could have prevented or mitigated these outbreaks, such as the use of a mask.

Immigrants detained by the Border Patrol in La Joya, Texas.Damiá Bonmatí / Noticias Telemundo Investiga

“The dramatic increase in illegal border crossings has also led to a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases among unauthorized migrants who have arrived in our state, and we must do more to protect Texans from this virus and reduce the burden on our communities, ”Abbott said.

"This executive order will reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in our communities," he added.

According to the governor,

CBP has seen an increase of more than 900% in the number of migrants who test positive for COVID-19

after being apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley when crossing the border without authorization.

[The Government elaborates a plan to accelerate requests for asylum but also deportations]

In the Rio Grande Valley,

the movement of large white buses or Border Patrol vans is part of the landscape of highways and city streets

. The drivers, usually outsourced, pick up migrants from where they were detained and transfer them to processing centers, but they also drive them to border bridges to expel them back to Mexico or to bus stations if they manage to be released to continue their cases of asylum in the United States.

The measure will not affect the operations of the Border Patrol or other federal agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). But anyone other than a federal, state or local authority, such as commercial bus companies or volunteers transporting migrants to quarantine shelters or hotels will be subject to state sanctions if they transport these immigrants.

Abbot indicated that

the Texas Department of Public Safety may stop any vehicle on reasonable suspicion

that it is transporting immigrants who were detained by CBP or who have a removal order under Title 42. In the event of a violation, the unit it would be forced to return to its point of origin, to a border control point and it could also be confiscated.

Border Patrol Releases Immigrants At Border Without Testing For COVID-19

March 2, 202101: 10

Abbott's ordinance comes a day after Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez asked the federal government in a statement to stop "releasing infected migrants into our community," after

an immigrant family quarantining in A hotel in La Joya for having tested positive for COVID-19 was seen in a

fast food restaurant sneezing without a mask.

They belonged to a group that had been released by the Border Patrol and were staying in a part of the Texas Inn hotel along with 30 families infected with coronavirus, which had been rented by the Catholic charities organization in McAllen run by Sister Norma Pimentel.

[At this border morgue, 40% of immigrants died with COVID-19]

“We have a security guard who is there to help prevent this from happening.

Because normally it has not happened, we have been doing this for two years in different parts of here in the valley, "said Pimentel in an interview with Noticias Telemundo.

A week earlier, Webb County, where the border city of Laredo is located, prohibited the Border Patrol from transporting detained migrants on buses through the county for at least seven days, alleging that many could come with COVID-19 infections.

A Venezuelan migrant aboard a bus after being detained by the Border Patrol in the Del Rio sector, in Texas, while trying to enter the United States irregularly;

on June 14, 2021. AP

The White House has denied that federal authorities release migrants who have contracted the virus and ensures that "the necessary isolation, quarantine and medical care measures are taken."

However, as Noticias Telemundo Investiga has been able to verify, that is misleading.

At least 108 migrants were released in Brownsville, Texas, after testing positive for COVID-19 by local authorities, without any impediment to move around the country and without serving quarantine.

And more than 50 migrants also tested positive for coronavirus after being released between late January and early March in Laredo and McAllen.

National Guard may arrest undocumented immigrants crossing into Texas

July 28, 202102: 31

Although the Border Patrol conducts inspections for symptoms and risk factors, it

does not routinely test migrants for COVID-19, and only refers suspected cases to local authorities

for "proper testing, diagnosis and treatment."

Due to this, and according to studies, around half of those who test positive for COVID-19 do not have symptoms, it is very likely that among the released migrants there is a high proportion of infected who did not present any symptoms, but equally form they can transmit the virus.

Reporter Damià Bonmatí from Noticias Telemundo Investiga contributed to this report.

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2021-07-29

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