Municipal officials in Brownsville, Texas, say that six percent of migrants released into their community who are tested for COVID-19 are getting positive results. More than 100 tested positive since the releases began in late January.
Brownsville spokesman Felipe Romero said that 108 released migrants tested positive for COVID-19, Fox News reported. Tests are being carried out at the bus station in the border city on migrants who are being released by Border Patrol agents after they illegally cross the border from Matamoros, Tamaulipas. Romero said this represents a 6.3 percent positive test rate.
The Brownsville official said they do not have the authority to prevent those who test positive from boarding buses to travel into the U.S. interior. A worker at the bus station told Fox News they cannot ask passengers for proof of coronavirus test results before transit.
NBC News reported:
Eva Orellana, 29, who is from Honduras and who tested positive, said she was going to take the bus to North Carolina with her 3-year-old daughter. “On the way, we were wearing a mask all the time, gel, washing our hands,” she said. “Really, I don’t feel anything.”
Those who tested positive and spoke to Telemundo did not have any document indicating their Covid-19 test results; they said they were simply told by the station workers after taking the test.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott reacted to the news that migrants released into Texas are testing positive for COVID-19.
The Biden Administration is recklessly releasing hundreds of illegal immigrants who have COVID into Texas communities.
The Biden Admin. must IMMEDIATELY end this callous act that exposes Texans & Americans to COVID.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 3, 2021
As news spread in February of the Biden Administration’s release of migrants into border communities in South Texas, Governor Abbott sent 10,000 rapid test kits to the Rio Grande Valley. “Every migrant who appears at the bus station is being tested, as long as they have supplies,” Romero said.
Texas State Senator Jose “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen) also complained about the migrants being released without being tested, Breitbart Texas reported in February. “[Border Patrol agents] were just dropping them off at the bus station without testing them. Obviously, that’s very alarming to all of us in that they’re coming from Central America and through Mexico and to be released into the United States without being tested for COVID is really unconscionable,” the state senator said.
Responding to an inquiry from Breitbart Texas, an unnamed CBP official said:
CBP has seen a steady increase in border encounters since April 2020, which, aggravated by COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing guidelines, has caused some facilities to reach maximum safe holding capacity. Per longstanding practice, when long-term holding solutions aren’t possible, some migrants will be processed for removal, provided a Notice to Appear, and released into the U.S. to await a future immigration hearing. As the Administration reviews the current immigration process, balancing it against the ongoing pandemic, we will continue to use all current authorities to avoid keeping individuals in a congregate setting for any length of time.
The 108 migrants who tested positive for COVID-19 are only the migrants being released by Border Patrol agents at the bus station. It does not count the unaccompanied minors who are apprehended, held in Border Patrol cells for days, and then released to Health and Human Services processing centers inland from the border. It also does not include the thousands being apprehended daily from illegal border crossings, migrant stash house raids, and other human smuggling transportation arrests. Finally, it does not include migrants who enter the U.S. illegally and are never caught by Border Patrol.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s Sunday-morning talk show, What’s Your Point? Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX, Parler @BobPrice, and Facebook.