More than 100 illegal immigrants released by Border Patrol in Texas have tested positive for COVID-19 since late January, according to officials at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Brownsville, Texas, spokesman Felipe Romero reported this week that the 108 positive cases represent 6.3 percent of illegal immigrants tested at the city’s bus station, where they were released by Border Patrol, according to Fox News.
Testing began January 25.
Romero added the city does not have the authority to stop individuals testing positive for COVID-19 from traveling to other locations across the country.
Instead, they can only advise those who test positive to quarantine and follow the safety protocols of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The spokesman added, “The City of Brownsville continues to follow all guidelines provided by the CDC and DSHS for Covid-19. The migrants who test positive at the B-Metro facility are advised of quarantine procedures and are asked to socially distance.”
The city has also been advising those who test positive to seek assistance from local non-profit resources, including local shelters.
However, Noticias Telemundo Investiga spoke with families at the bus station who tested positive who were waiting to travel to faraway destinations like New Jersey, North Carolina, and Maryland.
NBC News noted, “For years, bus stations have been at the epicenter of the arrival of migrants to the border. Different administrations have released tens of thousands of immigrant families in these buildings and, from there, they buy tickets to reach the residences of their relatives in the United States.”
The Daily Wire reported, “A spokesperson said in an email that CBP personnel conduct initial inspections for symptoms or risk factors associated with COVID-19 and consult as appropriate with onsite medical personnel, the CDC or local health systems.”
“At the station, Martín Fernández, an Omnibus Express worker, said that the bus company where he works respects the protocols of federal authorities: passengers must wear masks on board the vehicle and use hand sanitizer gel. But they cannot, he clarified, ask passengers for Covid-19 tests before getting on buses,” the report added.
These reports come as members of the Domestic Policy Council were set to tell President Joe Biden Tuesday that the number of migrant children who cross the southern border this year is on pace to exceed an all-time record — by 45 percent — citing unreleased data from the Department of Homeland Security.
The presentation noted “the Biden administration is 20,000 beds short of what it needs to properly house the 117,000 unaccompanied child migrants expected to cross the border this year.”
With concerns of additional caravans of immigrants seeking to cross America’s southern border, numbers could continue to escalate.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has continued to insist there is not a crisis at the border.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has left the issue to the Secretary to define, noting, “He said it was a challenge, it is a challenge.”