Released Migrants Are Busing from Border to Texas Cities Without COVID Tests, Says Laredo Mayor

LA JOYA, TEXAS - JUNE 21: Migrants board a bus to be taken to a border patrol processing facility after crossing the Rio Grande into the U.S. on June 21, 2021 in La Joya, Texas. A surge of mostly Central American immigrants crossing into the United States has challenged U.S. …
File Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The Biden Administration and the City of Laredo, Texas, reached an agreement to end a lawsuit over the Border Patrol’s transfer of migrants from the Rio Grande Valley to the border city. The agreements will reportedly result in the City of Laredo busing released migrants to major Texas cities without being tested for COVID-19, according to Mayor Pete Saenz.

Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz told MyRGVNews.com that migrants being released by Border Patrol will be turned over to city officials who will, in turn, send them to other cities in Texas including Austin, Dallas, and Houston. The migrants will be transported on four buses contracted by the City of Laredo — without being tested for COVID-19.

The agreement brings the City’s lawsuit against Biden’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) filed in July to stop the federal government from transferring migrants to Laredo from the Rio Grande Valley Sector.

MyRGVNews.com reports:

Aside from added costs, one notable difference to the process under the agreement is testing.

Under the compromise, migrants arriving in Laredo are no longer tested for COVID-19 like they used to be when they were previously released to migrant shelters.

“What we’re doing is coordinating with the EMC, the emergency management coordinators, in Austin and Houston, and I believe even Dallas, too,” Mayor Saenz told reporters. “Then, it’s really up to them to continue offering PPEs, masks, hygiene, whatever they require.”

“The reason why we don’t do testing is that once you test, there’s an obligation,” Saenz explained. “If they’re positive, we’re told that you have to quarantine. We don’t have the infrastructure for that.”

The agreement appears to be in direct conflict with an executive order issued by Texas Governor Greg Abbott which is temporarily suspended by a federal court. In an executive order on July 29, Governor Abbott directed Texas Department of Public Safety troopers to stop buses transporting migrants released by the federal government and direct them back to their point of origin, Breitbart Texas reported.

When asked about the federal government’s agreement with the City of Laredo to transport untested migrants to major cities across Texas, Governor Abbott’s Press Secretary Renae Eze replied, “Governor Abbott issued his executive order to restrict the transportation of unlawful migrants in Texas due to COVID-19 to protect Texans and our communities. Unfortunately, the Biden Administration has challenged this executive order, and a federal court in El Paso has issued a temporary restraining order. The State of Texas will continue fighting for the implementation.”

“With a 20-year record-high influx of migrants crossing, this months-long border crisis continues to grow out of hand as President Biden refuses to do his job and uphold our nation’s sovereignty,” Eze continued. “Now in the height of hypocrisy, President Biden and his Administration are transporting untested migrants throughout Texas while requiring everyone flying into the country legally, including American citizens, to have a negative COVID-19 test to enter.”

“Until President Biden stops the double standards and does his job to protect Americans, Texas continues to step up in his absence,” the governor’s press secretary concluded.

Mayor Saenz said the decision to bus the migrants to other cities came as he was faced with another unacceptable alternative.

“Border Patrol was very clear that they were just going to put them out in the street, in our plazas. And, of course, we couldn’t have that,” Saenz told reporters.

“I know some people may say, ‘you’re basically transporting untested people to other cities.’ And the answer is ‘yes,’ the border mayor concluded, “But what alternative do we have here, locally?”

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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