Officials in South Texas have issued disaster declarations due to the illegal immigration crisis at the border and the ensuing concerns that they’re spreading COVID through the area.
KXAN NBC in Austin reports that Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez issued a disaster declaration “due to the high volume of migrants released in the county by border officials and the growing threat of COVID-19 they might bring.”
Cortez believes the situation has “reached the point of capacity.”
According to the report, the declaration would allow for funding “to help mitigate untold costs associated with the migrants.”
Mayor Javier Villalobos of McAllen, Texas, the largest city in Hidalgo County, also issued a disaster declaration due to the Department of Homeland Security releasing illegal immigrants to local charities.
Bill Melugin, a national correspondent with Fox News, reported that police in La Joya, Texas, have been warning that illegal immigrants testing positive for COVID are being released into the community.
“Illegal immigrants who test positive for COVID-19 are being released from federal custody to a local Catholic charity in the (Rio Grande Valley),” he revealed.
They are then allegedly placed “in local hotels without notice.”
In McAllen, officials report, nearly 7,000 immigrants who tested positive for COVID-19 have passed through, 1,500 of which have crossed in the last week alone.
That news was buried in a statement by the city indicating the construction of temporary emergency shelters to deal with the influx.
Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott has blamed the immigration surge for an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in his state.
Abbott issued an executive order authorizing law enforcement officials to stop any vehicle suspected of transporting illegal immigrants in an effort to combat the crisis, but a federal judge temporarily blocked the order on Tuesday.
Melugin, earlier this week, tweeted a video of a large group of hundreds of illegal immigrants turning themselves in at a ballpark in La Joya, something he says happens “all day long” and “nonstop.”
Shocking video footage also showed a single group of up to 1,000 people being held by Border Patrol under a bridge near the southern border in Texas, something Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY) described as an “absolute catastrophe.”
Judge Cortez explains the danger of releasing illegal immigrants into local communities without taking precautions to prevent the spread of COVID.
“We have an overflow where it’s difficult to manage,” he said. “They’re going into the streets of our communities some of which may not have been tested correctly or not taken the appropriate steps to put them in an isolated situation.”
The judge goes on to explain that while the migrants may be seeking asylum legally, they “are being released by immigration officials in high volumes while the spread of COVID-19 is spiking within our community.”
On Monday, Representative Chip Roy, a Republican serving on the House Freedom Caucus and a member of the House Judiciary Committee, expressed support to impeach President Biden and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over the ongoing border crisis.
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