Entertainment

Texas border city is forced to turn its nature trail into open-air tent CITY for 1,000 migrants


Border patrol agents have turned a Texas park into a temporary tent city as officials are working to find shelter for approximately 1,000 migrants, including newborn babies, who have been released from U.S. custody.

McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos issued a disaster declaration ten days ago as local officials scrambled to house the growing number of migrants seeking legal asylum in the U.S.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) dropped off a record-breaking 11,026 migrants in the city last week, CBS News reported. The US recorded more than 212,000 illegal crossings in July, it was revealed Thursday – the first time that figure had topped 200,000 in 21 years. 

Mayor Villalobos says he is not sure how the situation got to be so ‘dire’.

Border patrol agents have created a quarantine camp at Anzalduas Park in McAllen, Texas as they work to find shelter for approximately 1,000 migrants

McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos (pictured) issued a disaster declaration ten days ago as local officials scrambled to house the growing number of migrants seeking legal asylum in the U.S.

McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos (pictured) issued a disaster declaration ten days ago as local officials scrambled to house the growing number of migrants seeking legal asylum in the U.S.

‘The numbers went from 500 to 600 a day. Soon afterwards, 1,000 a day. And then an excess of 1,500,’ he explained.

Upon arrival, migrants are taken to the quarantine camp at Anzalduas Park and tested for COVID-19 and acred for in open air.

About 1,000 others have been placed in quarantine in churches, private buildings owned by charities and hotel rooms.

Now, the city is facing the issue of not having enough housing options for the migrants. 

‘I did not have enough rooms to place new families in isolation,’ Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, said. 

‘So that’s when we said to Mayor Villalobos that we have a problem here. I don’t think by tomorrow I’m going to be able to contain this within our respite center. So I need help.’ 

Upon arrival, migrants are taken to the quarantine camp at Anzalduas Park and tested for COVID-19 and acred for in open air. About 1,000 others have been placed in quarantine in churches, private buildings owned by charities and hotel rooms

Upon arrival, migrants are taken to the quarantine camp at Anzalduas Park and tested for COVID-19 and acred for in open air. About 1,000 others have been placed in quarantine in churches, private buildings owned by charities and hotel rooms

Now, the city is facing the issue of not having enough housing options for the migrants

Now, the city is facing the issue of not having enough housing options for the migrants

Officials are also battling cases of COVID positivity. On August 4 officials reported that 7,000 out of nearly 88,000 migrants (more than 8%) released in McAllen since February had tested positive for COVID-19

Officials are also battling cases of COVID positivity. On August 4 officials reported that 7,000 out of nearly 88,000 migrants (more than 8%) released in McAllen since February had tested positive for COVID-19

Officials are also battling cases of COVID positivity. Texas is experiencing a surge in cases fueled by the Delta variant and low vaccination rates.

Intensive care units in at least 53 hospital have reached capacity and more than 10,000 people have been hospitalized with coronavirus. 

‘Initially, I didn’t see it as a problem, because it was under control,’ Villalobos said. ‘So I saw no correlation between the increase in COVID within our community and the immigrants because they were isolated.’ 

According to law enforcement, the number of COVID-positive cases from across the border is relatively small compared to the state’s latest surge.  

On August 4 officials reported that 7,000 out of nearly 88,000 migrants –more than 8 percent — released in McAllen since February had tested positive for COVID-19.

However, they say positive tests have become more frequent in recent weeks. Last week, 14.8 percent of migrants released from border patrol custody tested positive for COVID. Texas’ statewide positivity rate of is 18.7 percent, as of Wednesday.

‘We can’t attribute the rise in COVID numbers to migrants,’ Villalobos told the New York Times, also acknowledging that he issued the disaster declaration because he believes the surge in border crossings could pose a health risk to local residents.

‘The influx of migrants just became too big,’ he explained. ‘The vast majority of McAllen residents never see a migrant, but we couldn’t risk them wandering around town.’ 

‘The problem wasn’t that a higher percentage of families were COVID-positive,’ Pimentel echoed. ‘It was that the numbers arriving were so high, there were more positives among them.’ 

Texas is experiencing a surge in cases fueled by the Delta variant and low vaccination rates. Intensive care units in at least 53 hospital have reached capacity and more than 10,000 people have been hospitalized with coronavirus

Texas is experiencing a surge in cases fueled by the Delta variant and low vaccination rates. Intensive care units in at least 53 hospital have reached capacity and more than 10,000 people have been hospitalized with coronavirus

Villalobos argued that Texas ‘can’t attribute the rise in COVID numbers to migrants’ while also acknowledging that he issued the disaster declaration because he believes the surge in border crossings could pose a health risk to local residents

CBP is also working to expand a 'temporary outdoor processing site' under the Anzalduas International Bridge that stretches into Mexico

CBP is also working to expand a ‘temporary outdoor processing site’ under the Anzalduas International Bridge that stretches into Mexico

CBP reportedly does not have the capacity to test migrants for the coronavirus upon arrival and does not routinely test them prior to their release. They leave the testing responsibility to localities and charities who can seek federal reimbursement.   

Everardo Villarreal, a county commissioner, issued his support for the quarantine camp, saying the park was the ‘perfect location because it has natural barriers to keep immigrants from county residents’.

‘We have enough people of our own infecting each other; we don’t need people from other countries coming and infecting us,’ he said.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visited Anzalduas Park on Thursday morning and issued his support for efforts underway there.

‘The park is outdoors and the safest way in which we can accomplish that testing in isolation,’ Mayorkas said.

He told CBS News the federal government would reimburse local government and nonprofits ‘for the expenses that they incur’ for testing, isolating and quarantining. He also insisted that government leaders are actively pursuing additional resources to help establish ‘processes to make sure that migrants are tested, cohorted during transportation, isolated in quarantine as necessary’. 

CBP is also working to expand a ‘temporary outdoor processing site’ under the Anzalduas International Bridge that stretches into Mexico. 

Photos of the Anzalduas Park tent city come just days after the release of video taken by border patrol agents showing holding facilities with massive overcrowding where migrants lay packed together – some not wearing masks.

New video from a Border Patrol agent shows migrants crammed together in a holding facility in the Rio Grande Valley ¿ some without masks

New video from a Border Patrol agent shows migrants crammed together in a holding facility in the Rio Grande Valley – some without masks

‘They are way past capacity – so aliens sit outside because where do you take them?’ a source told Townhall Media in sharing the jarring images.

‘Logistically it’s a nightmare,’ they continued, ‘people want to go to the bathroom, need to eat, women need to breastfeed, and the list goes on.’

‘This has surpassed the point of sustainability – this is lunacy,’ the border agent added.

The images from the Rio Grande Valley Sector shows the overcrowding that has led to migrants apprehended in that area being held instead under the Anzalduas International Bridge in Mission, Texas.

These migrants remain in outdoor holding areas under the bridge as they await processing – and temperatures reach above 100 degrees.

Women sit against a wall in an overcrowded border facility last week

The images emerged as the border crisis prevails and reports revealed that thousands were being released into local communities without first being tested for coroanvirus

Frustrated border agents provided the images to Townhall Media. Here men lay side-by-side behind a gate an overcrowded facility

Frustrated border agents provided the images to Townhall Media. Here men lay side-by-side behind a gate an overcrowded facility  

Health and Human Services assured earlier this year the overcrowding issue has been resolved as they set up temporary facilities to hold migrants and set up Alternative to Detention Programs, like ankle bracelet monitoring or home check-ins. These measures are slammed by Republicans as so-called ‘catch and release’ programs, which they claim are ineffective in holding criminals accountable for illegal immigration.

Unaccompanied minors who are being held at HHS facilities are still claiming inhumane conditions, CNN reported this week.

Those in a facility in Pecos, Texas said they are being served undercooked food and experience long wait times for medical attention.

‘When we eat meals, the meat and eggs are sometimes a bit raw, and the potatoes are a bit hard,’ a 16-year-old from El Salvador who is staying at the Pecos site said, according to court documents. ‘Sometimes, I worry about eating the food because I don’t want to get sick. I know of two kids threw up after eating the food.’ 

Customs and Border Protection revealed that 188,829 migrants were stopped at the southwest border in June. Reports reveal that number topped 210,000 in July, although official numbers have not yet been released

Customs and Border Protection revealed that 188,829 migrants were stopped at the southwest border in June. Reports reveal that number topped 210,000 in July, although official numbers have not yet been released

Record numbers of migrants are illegally crossing the border under Joe Biden’s administration, pleading for asylum. Thousands of these individuals are released into the local communities in Texas and other states every day where they remain in Alternative to Detention Programs while awaiting rulings on their case.

Many localities have claimed they are widely contributing to the surge in COVID-19 cases as the Delta variant and breakthrough cases in vaccinated individuals continue to spike.

In June, CBP revealed it encountered more than 188,000 migrants at the southern border and several reports reveal the number for July tops 210,000, although the official figures have not yet been released.

The latest pushes the number of illegal immigrants who crossed into the U.S. in Biden’s first six months in office over the 1.3 million mark.



Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button