A Democrat border county judge who opposed a state disaster declaration over the current migrant surge is criticizing the Biden Administration after news broke about the regular releases of migrants with COVID-19 into his jurisdiction.
This week, Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez issued a statement calling on President Joe Biden’s immigration officials to stop releasing migrants who test positive for Coronavirus.
“Ill-conceived policies by both the federal and state governments are beginning to have serious consequences on Hidalgo County,” Cortez said in his statement. “I call on federal immigration officials to stop releasing infected migrants into our community.”
Cortez also asked for Texas Governor Greg Abbott to allow for a new mask mandate. The move came after La Joya Police Department announced a hotel in the county was being used to house migrants who were released by U.S. Border Patrol after testing positive for the virus.
The case began when La Joya Police responded to a Whataburger after patrons complained about a group of migrants not observing any sanitary measures and were asked to leave by restaurant management. When an officer spoke with the group, they claimed they were released days after being diagnosed. The migrants were staying at a hotel booked by Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley.
In response to the information from La Joya Police, Cortez issued his federal and state demands.
“We now face a potential crisis because of the federal policy of releasing infected migrants into our community, coupled with the state policy that prohibits us from implementing essential safety measures,” Cortez said. “This is unacceptable.”
Cortez is one of the county judges who refused to support a state disaster declaration over the current border surge that has led to record numbers of apprehensions and overwhelmed the detention capabilities of DHS.
“I acknowledge that we are seeing a greater number of immigrants crossing into Texas to either seek asylum, to work, or for other purposes,” Cortez said at the time. “Apparently, Governor Abbott has information that we don’t have. In speaking to local law enforcement, they have not reported levels of criminal activity that would require a disaster proclamation.”
Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com.
Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.