US Fact Check: Are COVID-Positive Migrants Allowed to Cross Southern Border Into U.S.?

07:07  06 march  2021
07:07  06 march  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

Immigration: Biden administration is relying on a Trump-era policy to turn away migrants at border

  Immigration: Biden administration is relying on a Trump-era policy to turn away migrants at border The Biden administration has moved swiftly to distance itself from Trump-era immigration policies, but at the US-Mexico border, a pandemic-related order put in place by former President Donald Trump remains in effect, allowing officials to continue to turn away thousands of migrants. © Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images US President Donald Trump speaks after touring a section of the border wall in Alamo, Texas on January 12, 2021.

More than 100 illegal immigrants released by the Border Patrol into Texas since late January have tested positive for the coronavirus following their arrival, officials in a city on the U . S .-Mexico border tell Fox News. Miriam Izaguirre, a 35-year-old from Honduras who also tested positive , told Noticias Telemundo Investiga that she planned to travel by bus to Houston. "Right now we were tested for Covid and they separated about eight of us because we were positive ," she said.

Stock markets, which for years surfed the cheap-money wave, tumbled. The selloff was driven by concerns that adding enormous buckets of government spending to a fast-recovering U . S . economy would push inflation above the Federal Reserve' s target sooner than anticipated. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced Tuesday that effective next Wednesday, "all businesses of any type" in the Lone Star state will be allowed to fully reopen. Additionally, he' s ending the statewide mask mandate. Those in the room where Abbott broke the news applauded the decision, but plenty of skeptics took note, as

Since President Joseph Biden took office in January and began rolling back Trump-era immigration policies, many lawmakers feared an influx of migrants and asylum-seekers would overwhelm the U.S.-Mexico border.

a close up of a sign: U.S.-Mexico border in Brownsville, Texas © John Moore/Getty Images U.S.-Mexico border in Brownsville, Texas

In a press conference Monday, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said that there was no crisis at the border.

"I think there is a challenge at the border that we are managing, and we have our resources dedicated to managing it," Mayorkas said.

The Claim

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, some people fear that migrants are spreading the virus as they move from the southern border to cities across the country.

Representative Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) accused the Biden administration of hurting "law-abiding" Americans by allowing COVID-positive migrants to illegally cross the border.

The Facts

In a series of executive orders, Biden paused the construction of the southern border wall, offered permanent protection for young migrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, known as "Dreamers" and created a task force to reunite migrant families who were separated at the U.S.-Mexico border by Trump's 2018 "zero-tolerance" border strategy.

There's a lot of misinformation around what's happening at the border. Here are the facts.

  There's a lot of misinformation around what's happening at the border. Here are the facts. The Biden administration is facing an increasing number of unaccompanied migrant children crossing into the United States, placing added strain on a system operating under limited capacity due to the coronavirus pandemic. © John Moore/Getty Images BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS - FEBRUARY 08: Asylum seekers from El Salvador wait at a bus station after they were released from U.S. immigration authorities on February 08, 2021 in Brownsville, Texas.

Most immigration into the US has slowed or stopped after the US chose to become the epicenter of the COVID -19 pandemic. Mexico and Canada are both struggling with increasing numbers of emigrants from the US trying to get into their countries. Legal immigration of US nationals to both countries has been up too. That said, it’ s still just as easy as it was before to sneak into the US over the border . Seasonal workers that have done it a couple of times are unlikely to be caught. The majority of those that have been caught in the past two years were non-Mexican refugees and they legally surrendered

U . S . Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is working closely with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and other federal, state, and local agencies to support the whole-of-government effort to slow the spread of COVID -19 and keep everyone safe. Please visit coronavirus.gov and USA.gov/coronavirus for official government-wide information and CDC.gov/coronavirus for The order gives the Administration the flexibility to allow for a 90-day deferment period on certain payments for importers who have faced a significant financial hardship due to the COVID -19 pandemic response.

According to Representative Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), the United States Border Patrol in the Rio Grande Valley Sector has apprehended 10,000 migrants in the past seven days. He said we are "weeks, maybe even days, away from a crisis at the southern border."

"Our country is currently unprepared to handle a surge in migrants in the middle of the pandemic," Cuellar said in a statement to Newsweek. "Migrants are illegally crossing, potentially exposing border communities to the coronavirus and putting us at risk."

Whether migrants are tested for COVID-19 depends on their immigration category.

Individuals waiting on immigration proceedings in Mexico as part of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) are tested by United Nations officials for COVID-19 before entering the United States. Migrants are taken to a staging area, where they must test negative in order to cross the border at a port of entry.

California crash that killed 13 in Imperial County highlights perils of desperate border crossings

  California crash that killed 13 in Imperial County highlights perils of desperate border crossings The deadly collision between an SUV crammed with 25 people and a semitruck highlights the perils of human smuggling along the border and points to the desperation of those fleeing poverty, unemployment and crime for life in a sometimes hostile land.The crosses were fashioned from cedarwood at a shelter just across the US-Mexico border by other migrants -- some recently deported, others preparing to embark on their trek north. Messages such as "Jesus was a migrant" and "No more deaths" were scrawled in Spanish on the colorful crosses, which were originally intended as symbols of immigration rights but have instead become familiar markers of tragic journeys.

Nations bordering BiH also maintain border restrictions. For questions regarding those, please visit the COVID -19 Testing: Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U . S . citizens in BiH? Individuals – or air carriers seeking to allow boarding by potentially qualifying individuals – who believe they Consular customers who have been diagnosed COVID -19 positive in the last 14 days or have a close

"There are no two ways around it; we are in the midst of a border crisis. President Biden set this in motion by undoing numerous Trump-era immigration policies, which is why we are urging him to immediately reinstate the national emergency at our border ," Gooden told Fox News. Additionally, the administration has revived the practice of catch-and-release, by which migrants are released back into the U . S . interior -- a practice that has already led to some COVID - positive migrants being released.

MPP is a Trump-era program that forces migrants who arrive at the Southwest border to return to Mexico to wait during their U.S. immigration proceedings. There are about 25,000 individuals in the MPP program with pending cases before the Executive Office of Immigration Review, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS suspended new enrollment into the program on January 21, 2021.

According to DHS, "those who test positive will be supported by facilitating organizations to isolate and/or seek treatment in line with the policy of the relevant local health authority in Mexico. Following isolation and screening, such an individual will again be eligible for facilitated arrival at a designated port of entry."

New arrivals at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities also are tested within 12 hours of arrival and are separated from the rest of the population in the facilities to prevent potential transmission.

"In order to humanely address the current situation along the Southwest Border, ICE continues to evaluate the manner in which it utilizes its existing family residential centers, which remain fully operational, to safely, effectively, and efficiently process and screen families," an ICE spokesman said in a statement to Newsweek.

Border crisis creates new risks for Biden

  Border crisis creates new risks for Biden President Biden is facing a growing dilemma at the southern border that shows few signs of abating: the number of unaccompanied minors crossing into the United States steadily increasing in recent weeks.Thousands of migrants have crossed the border in Biden's first six weeks in office, many of them unaccompanied minors. The influx has tested the administration's resources and ability to quickly implement its own strategy as Republicans sound alarms over what they have deemed a crisis of Biden's making. The Biden administration is rapidly adapting its approach to meet the need for space and staffing in a reflection of the seriousness of the situation.

Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers do not test the migrants they apprehend.

According to a CPB spokesperson, "CBP personnel conduct initial inspections for symptoms or risk factors associated with COVID-19 and consult with onsite medical personnel."

Suspected COVID-19 cases are then referred to local health systems for appropriate testing, diagnosis and treatment.

Cuellar said migrants dropped off at bus stations by Border Patrol agents are likely not tested before they leave to other cities. There is currently no system in place to keep track of whether migrants get tested for COVID-19 once they leave DHS custody.

"Once the Border Patrol releases them, then they have the notice to appear [at immigration case hearing] and they can go anywhere in the U.S.," Cuellar said.

Greyhound Lines bus company said in a statement to Newsweek that it sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security and requested assistance with a potential surge of migrants at the border.

The border town of Brownsville, Texas, sees a lot of migrants come through its La Plaza Bus Terminal.

Since January 25, there have been 108 migrants who tested positive for COVID-19, which is a 6.3 percent positivity rate, according to Brownsville spokesman Felipe Romero. The positivity rate for Cameron County is 13.8 percent.

Biden Risks Border Crisis as Migrant Kids Fill Up Shelters

  Biden Risks Border Crisis as Migrant Kids Fill Up Shelters President Joe Biden is struggling to head off a potential humanitarian and political crisis on the U.S. southern border, where a spike in migrant crossings -- particularly by unaccompanied children -- threatens to overwhelm government shelters. White House officials briefed Biden earlier this week on the surge, and the administration has held multiple briefings with House and Senate lawmakers on the situation, according to congressional aides. Homeland Security officials are giving weekly updates to several Capitol Hill offices.“We’ll be able to handle it, God willing,” Biden said Tuesday.

Romero confirms that MPP individuals seeking asylum are tested for COVID-19 on the Mexican side of the border in Matamoros and must test negative to be allowed to cross.

He said Brownsville follows all guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Texas Department of State Health Service for COVID-19 and tests other migrants released by federal officials once they arrive in town.

"The catch-and-release migrants are tested at the La Plaza Bus Terminal upon being dropped off by U.S. Customs & Border Protection," Romero told Newsweek. "The migrants who test positive at La Plaza Bus Terminal are advised of quarantine procedures and are asked to socially distance. There are several NGOs providing resources to those who test positive."

NGOs, or nongovernmental organizations, and other nonprofit organizations provide testing and locations to quarantine for migrants out of their own pocket.

Cuellar said some towns test migrants for COVID-19, but he is "not seeing border towns broadly testing."

He added that unaccompanied minors are turned over to Health and Human Services and likely tested, while families with children under age 13 released by CBP with a note to appear in court might be tested by an NGO. Adults and families with older children who are apprehended by CBP are returned across the border under Title 42 and likely not tested.

The Ruling

Half True.

Some migrants are tested before crossing the border. Those seeking entry through MPP must test negative in order to enter the country.

Abandoning government camp, migrants shelter on Gran Canaria cliff side

  Abandoning government camp, migrants shelter on Gran Canaria cliff side Abandoning government camp, migrants shelter on Gran Canaria cliff sideGRAN CANARIA, Spain (Reuters) - More than 60 North African migrants are living in tents in the mountains of Spain's Gran Canaria island with no access to running water after leaving a Red Cross centre which they say crammed dozens of them into squalid conditions.

However, migrants picked up by CPB might not have been tested prior to crossing the border illegally. Since CBP officials will not test migrants, that task is left mostly to NGOs.

There currently is no system in place to track if migrants have been tested after they leave NGO shelters or CBP custody.

Related Articles

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  • Vicente Gonzalez, Texas Democratic Representative, Calls Biden's Immigration Plans 'Catastrophic'

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What the immigration 'crisis' debate is missing .
All of the attention in Washington on President Joe Biden's first 51 days has been on his Covid-19 stimulus bill, which he signed into law on Thursday. © Alex Edelman/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 09: A U.S. Customs and Border Protection patch on the uniform of Rodolfo Karisch, Rio Grande Valley sector chief patrol agent for the U.S. Border Patrol, as he testifies during a U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on migration on the Southern U.S Border on April 9, 2019 in Washington, DC.

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