Releasing COVID-Untested Migrant Teens into Texas Was a ‘Mistake,’ Says DHS Secretary

March 2021. Border Patrol agents process large groups of migrant families and unaccompanied minors in the RGV sector. (Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Rio Grande Valley Sector)
Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Rio Grande Valley Sector

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas told members of the House Judiciary Committee that releasing migrants into Texas border communities without testing them for COVID-19 was a mistake.

Mayorkas, in his first appearance before the committee since being confirmed as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said he did not know how many people had been released without being tested, the Washington Times reported.

Mayorkas avoided questions from Republican members of the committee who tried to nail down the numbers and if the mistake had been corrected.

“There have been times when we have not met our responsibility as well as we should have,” the DHS secretary told the committee. “Those instances are brought to the attention of leadership, and they are addressed and we improved based on the mistakes made.”

He said it is their policy to hope communities and charities are able to conduct the testing when Border Patrol agents release the migrants, the Times reported.

Lawmakers repeatedly pressed the secretary on whether his department is executing on its policy to have migrants tested before they are released.

After being pressed several times by multiple Republican congressmen, Mayorkas finally said they are “doing the best we can.”

The agency has also been unclear on quarantine procedures for those who test positive. Local authorities have put some into hotels for quarantine, but admit they have no authority to hold them if they want to leave.

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 What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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