The Biden administration’s return to catch-and-release protocols at the border has made one South Texas city uneasy.
According to Immigration reform, McAllen Mayor Jim Darling says Border Patrol agents are routinely dropping hundreds of adult migrants traveling with children at a bus station, without screening for COVID-19.
The state has sent 10,000 test kits for local humanitarian groups to administer. Migrants testing positive are quarantined in hotels; the rest board buses for the U.S. interior.
Before Biden, they didn’t have a problem due to rapid expulsions under COVID-19 travel restrictions and use of Trump-era programs like the Migrant Protection Protocols, safe third-country agreements, Prompt Asylum Claim Review and the Humanitarian Asylum Review Process — all of which limited the release of migrants into the U.S.
Border Patrol now has no choice but to drop illegal aliensat the bus station, untested. “Obviously, that’s very alarming to all of us. That they’re coming from Central America and through Mexico to be released into the United States without being tested for COVID is really unconscionable,” said state Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen.
Asked about the situation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesman Rod Kise stated, “As the administration reviews the current immigration process, balancing it against the ongoing pandemic, we will continue to use all current authorities to avoid keeping individuals in a congregate setting for any length of time.”
The strategy while a Texas lawsuit is under consideration is to put illegal aliens on buses and some have COVID.
Seeking to manage McAllen’s migrant congestion, the mayor says, “We are reaching out to Greyhound to get more buses [out of town].”