News & Politics

'It's Truly a Public Health Crisis.' One Border Town Is Busing Hundreds of Untested Illegals to Austin and Houston Every Day

Photo by U.S. Border Patrol, Big Bend Sector, Texas.

KXAN TV in Austin reports that Laredo, a city on the Texas border with Mexico, is shipping hundreds of illegal aliens north to Austin and east to Houston every single day. None of them are being tested for COVID.

Calling it a “public health crisis,” the mayor of Laredo told Border Report on Wednesday that his South Texas city is sending busloads of migrants to Austin and Houston without testing them for coronavirus.

Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz said the city is sending four charter buses per day with a total of 200 migrants who have been sent by Border Patrol from the Rio Grande Valley to Laredo. The migrants, mostly all families, have legally been released by federal authorities to travel in the United States.

Let’s consult a map to get our bearings. Here’s Laredo with a route lined north to it from McAllen.

Border
Map showing route from McAllen, Texas to Laredo, Texas. Google Maps.

McAllen is where the illegals are first taken into custody by Border Patrol. It’s also one of the crisis cities Kamala Harris stayed 800 miles away from when she visited El Paso.

They’re being sent to Laredo because McAllen has no room for them. Laredo is so overwhelmed that it’s shipping them on to Austin — the state’s capital, which defunded its police and has its own homeless camping crisis that no one on the city council is willing to deal with — and Houston. Houston also has massive homeless camps. Laredo is 4.5 hours from Austin and 5 hours from Houston. This has the makings of a COVID tinderbox, which Biden and the Democrats will undoubtedly blame on the state’s Republican leadership and not their own border policies.

The reason none of these illegal aliens is being tested for COVID is a head-shaker.

“These migrants aren’t being tested. Border Patrol doesn’t test them. We much less don’t have the infrastructure of testing and quarantining. When you test then if they’re positive then there’s an obligation there, or duty, to quarantine and that’s expensive and the NGOs don’t really have that capacity here locally,” Saenz said.

Once they test positive, you have to quarantine them. So…just pretend there’s no pandemic and don’t test them. That’s pretty much the policy.

Or you can do what Catholic Charities has done in La Joya, Texas, and stash them in hotels without quarantining them.

Laredo — Mayor Saenz is a Democrat, by the way — tried to put a stop to this by filing a lawsuit to stop the federally funded buses from coming up from McAllen. That hasn’t stopped a single bus. Laredo dropped the lawsuit in favor of a “compromise.”

“We entered into an understanding that we would drop the lawsuit, which we did, and then Border Patrol would deliver these migrants, about 200 or so per day, to a city facility that we leased and then we, in turn as a city retained a bussing company to transport these migrants farther north here in Texas,” Saenz said.

Initially, the city was sending the migrants to Dallas, Austin and Houston, but the cost to the city was too high, Saenz said, “so we decided to just focus on Austin and Houston.”

So for the sake of Laredo’s costs, it focused on shipping potentially COVID+ migrants to just the state’s capital and its largest city. Swell.

“We don’t even have a pediatric ICU,” Saenz said. “The federal government can take them someplace else. They have a choice. But we, as residents, really don’t have a choice. We’re literally fighting for beds here if there are beds available. So it’s truly a public health crisis.”

It’s Joe Biden’s public health crisis, pitting local Texans against illegal aliens for bed space in the middle of a pandemic. The border was orderly until Biden invited everyone in the world to cross it illegally. Now the surge has brought more than 1 million people across illegally in just six months — a 21-year-high.

Mayor Saenz said that when the migrants were being tested, about 35-40% tested positive for COVID. Now…? No one knows, but there’s no reason to think it’s much better now than it was a month ago. In fact, many of the migrants are coming from South America, which has the Lambda variant according to National Geographic.

Lambda (also known as C.37) was first detected in Peru in August 2020 and has spread to 29 countries, many in Latin America. And, since January 20, 2021, 668 Lambda infections have been reported in the United States. In Peru, Lambda is now responsible for more than 90 percent of new COVID-19 cases, a steep rise from less than 0.5 percent in December. The country has already suffered the world’s worst mortality due to COVID-19; the disease has killed about 0.54 percent of the population.

Mayor Saenz calls the situation Laredo is forced to deal with “cruel” and “chaos.”

The border crisis is a scandal and an embarrassment for a superpower. The United States is not a credible power if it cannot even control its own border and defend it from human smugglers and drug cartels. The fact that Joe Biden is choosing not to defend it, pandemic or no but especially during a pandemic, is a disgrace. He’s putting American lives in danger every single day this goes on.