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As the border crisis continues to escalate, processing facilities and agents are being swamped — resulting in illegal immigrants being sent to major cities without being tested for COVID-19.
The city of Laredo reached an agreement last week with the Biden administration that allows it to send illegal immigrants to Austin, Dallas and Houston after they are released by the Border Patrol.
Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz, a Democrat, revealed Wednesday that the migrants are no longer being tested for COVID before being bused out.
Previously, migrants were tested for the virus in Laredo immediately after being released by border agents. Under the new agreement, the city is no longer required to test them.
“The reason why we don’t do testing is that once you test, there’s an obligation,” Saenz told local outlet MyRGV.com.
“If they’re positive, we’re told that you have to quarantine. We don’t have the infrastructure for that.
“What we’re doing is coordinating with the EMC, the emergency management coordinators, in Austin and Houston, and I believe even Dallas, too … Then, it’s really up to them to continue offering PPEs, masks, hygiene, whatever they require.”
Saenz said his city had previously been forced into temporary shutdowns to contain COVID-19 outbreaks because of the high number of illegal immigrants who were testing positive after arriving.
“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 said.
“I know some people may say, ‘You’re basically transporting untested people to other cities.’ And the answer is ‘Yes.’ But what alternative do we have here, locally?
“At this point, we’ve had zero ICU beds in the last seven days. We’ve had people in overflow, basically waiting for a hospital bed out in the hallways. I think today we had close to 40 just waiting for a room.”
Saenz estimates that the city is spending about $9,000 on the buses, which has totaled $54,000 so far.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Wednesday slammed President Biden and his administration over the handling of illegal immigrants amid the pandemic, telling Fox News it was “hypocritical” and that “the credibility of the president on COVID is gone.”
Paxton said he had lost all “respect for the president” given he was releasing illegal immigrants into the community while still preaching about the importance of masks and vaccines.
“He is letting all these people in knowing they have COVID. They are being dropped off all over the country. I was talking to some Dallas police officers. They watched … a couple of buses unload in downtown Dallas in the middle of the night. These people just disappeared. Many of them have COVID.
“And to be lectured about masks and vaccines by the administration, to be told when you are out of the country and a US citizen, you can’t come back if you have COVID, is hypocritical.
“I have lost complete respect for the president on the whole COVID issue given the fact that he is allowing people to cross the border and doesn’t seem to care.”
Meanwhile, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson has revealed that a convicted illegal felon had been allowed to remain in the US by Immigration and Customs Enforcement following a request from an Abolish ICE activist.
Citing emails that he obtained, Carlson said ICE Acting Director Tae Johnson had given permission for Marvin Jerezano Pena to remain in the country after being approached by activist Tania Mattos.
Carlson claimed Pena, who has prior convictions for robbery, simple assault and drug charges, was ordered deported in July last year.
“This is what they’re doing as our border has turned into total chaos … our country is being invaded by the rest of the world — not just Mexico, not just Latin America, the whole world — and they’re worried about how they can keep a felon in our country without you knowing about it,” Carlson said, adding that ICE confirmed that Pena was not deported.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich says Biden’s policies are fueling the ongoing border crisis and accused the president of “making a mockery of our immigration laws.”
“Before the Biden administration, the border had leaks. Now it is broken beyond repair, and there is no doubt about the policies that have wrecked it,” he wrote in an op-ed.
“Border security was never intended to be a suggestion or a political lightning rod. It has real, tangible implications for all of us.
“Sadly, the federal government’s refusal to secure the border and enforce our laws endangers public safety and deteriorates American sovereignty in ways that we have never seen.”
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