McAllen, Texas, a city that sits near the U.S.-Mexico border, has just declared a local disaster due to the massive increase in COVID amongst illegal migrants, thousands of whom are released into the streets by Border Patrol on a weekly basis.
In the last week alone, McAllen observed 7,000 illegal migrants being released in its downtown area, where they immediately went to receive COVID tests through one of the city’s contractors. Unfortunately, in the past week, over 1,500 illegal migrants tested positive for COVID, which represents a dramatic increase from a total of 7,000 COVID cases claimed in the past five months. Moreover, the COVID-positive migrants are told to quarantine only two days, though they are released to the public regardless.
In a recent statement, McAllen declared that a “shockingly large number of immigrants” released into the city by Customs and Border Protection has completely overwhelmed the Catholic Charities resources available. These resources help provide various humanitarian services in the city for migrants, though the fact that they were recently overwhelmed constitutes a “significant change,” which in turn “increases the threat of COVID spread or other lawlessness within the city.”
The Catholic charities have taken in numerous migrants that have been released by border authorities over the past seven years, though they have never witnessed staggering numbers of migrants as they have in just a few weeks.
In early July alone, the Catholic Shelters began experiencing 750 arrivals daily, which increased upwards to 1,100 per day. Currently, up to 1,900 per day have been arriving in just the first few days of August, though the centers only have approval to hold 1,236 individuals at a time.
According to the city’s statement, McAllen is “faced with a rapidly escalating surge of immigrants at the Texas-Mexico Border,” which is why the city’s Emergency Management Office, alongside City Management and “in accordance with the Mayor’s Declaration of Local Disaster,” has taken “swift action” in order to begin mitigating various emergencies related to safety and health risks.
By declaring a local state of disaster, McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos is able to receive reimbursement from state and federal funds due to dealing with the emergency migrant situation.