An ongoing immigration crisis along the nation’s southern border has raised a variety of concerns, including the potential spread of COVID-19.
One Texas border town recently issued a public health advisory after discovering undocumented immigrants possibly exposing others to the virus at a fast food restaurant, a local CBS affiliate reports.
“Without covering their mouths”
According to the La Joya Police Department, a concerned citizen reported seeing the family “coughing and sneezing without covering their mouths and not wearing face masks” inside the Whataburger location.
The manager reportedly told the individuals to leave because of the threat they posed to public health. In subsequent statements to police, they reportedly said that Border Patrol agents released them into the town after they tested positive for COVID-19.
A local Catholic charity booked hotel rooms for the family and other immigrants who were supposed to be under quarantine.
Police confirmed, however, that the individuals spotted at Whataburger were among dozens of those being housed at the hotel who were “out and about” without masks.
The announcement included additional details about what officers found during their investigation, such as the revelation that the Catholic agency responsible for placing the COVID-positive immigrants at the hotel had declined to inform the police that they had done so.
“Begining to have serious consequences”
Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez called on immigration officials to stop releasing immigrants into the community.
“We have been doing well as a community in slowing the spread of this deadly virus,” he said, according to CBS 11 News. “But ill-conceived policies by both the federal and state governments are beginning to have serious consequences for Hidalgo County.”
Cortez went on to urge GOP Gov. Greg Abbott “to return to Hidalgo County the safety tools he took away that would help us slow the spread of this disease,” describing the situation as “unacceptable.”
Since the beginning of June, the state of Texas has seen a more than fourfold increase in its seven-day average of COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, illegal immigration remains a persistent threat to that state and others along the U.S.-Mexico border.
If Biden truly cared about getting COVID-19 numbers down, it seems that he would crack down on potentially infected undocumented immigrants being dropped off in communities across the country.