After 381,928 Expelled Along Southwest Border for 'Serious Danger of Communicable Disease' in 2020, Its 566,959 So Far in 2021

South Texas City of McAllen Faces an "Immigrant Crisis" It Did Not Create, and has Proactively Tried to Avoid for Years

AUSTIN, Texas (Texas Insider Report) — The City of McAllen in far South Texas earlier this week asked Hidalgo County to place a “temporary emergency shelter on property in McAllen on 23rd Street for the overwhelming number of immigrants stranded in McAllen by U.S. Customs & Border Protection,” and subsequently asked that the location of the emergency shelters housing COVID-positive migrants be moved to a Hidalgo County property near the U.S. Customs & Border Protection Operations location.
According to the City of McAllen, there have been over 7,000 confirmed COVID-19 positive immigrants released into the city by Customs & Border Protection (CBP) since mid-February 2021, including over 1,500 new cases in the past seven days.

On Monday, Hidalgo County and McAllen each issued their own respective disaster declarations regarding the recent spike in asylum-seeking migrants.

The City of McAllen issued a local disaster declaration in order to receive resources from both Hidalgo County and the State of Texas.

A release earlier in the week stated that McAllen would be asking for Federal Government relief due to the unparallelled increase of individuals being released into the city and its surrounding communities, noting that the current immigration surge began in 2014 under President Barack Obama's Administration and has continued for seven years prior to the present surge now being experienced.

In its most recent request release, the city stated that for the past seven years Catholic Charites of the Rio Grande Valley have been able to handle the situation. However, the recent increase has been overwhelming.

Catholic Charities recently experienced a substantial drop in the number of volunteers available to process and handle immigrants due to a rising fear of COVID-19 variants and the rapidly growing surge in migrants.

At the heart of the effort to manage the migrant surge is Title 42 of Section 265 of U.S. Code

On March 20, 2020 under then-President Donald Trump, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) issued an Emergency Regulation to implement a specific aspect of U.S. Health Law that permits the Director of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to “prohibit … the introduction” into the United States of individuals when the Director believes that “there is serious danger of the introduction of [a communicable] disease into the United States.”

For context:
  • The total number of Title 42 Expulsions on the Southwest Border in all of 2020 was 381,928.
  • To date in 2021, a total of 566,959 Title 42 Expulsions have occurred on the Southwest Border.
The Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley previously stated that migrants were being tested prior to entering local facilities, that negative cases were allowed in, and positive cases were placed in other areas to avoid the continued spread of COVID-19.

Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez recently told local reporters there is a also nursing shortage, and that keeping up with COVID-19 hospitalization of residents has not been easy. In addition, the influx in asylum seekers testing positive for COVID-19 is also tipping the scale.
Catholic Charities Sister Norma Pimentel of the Rio Grande Valley says the federal government needs to step in.

“Now we’re seeing that they’re coming in with a high infection for COVID, and there’s no room for them anymore,” said Judge Cortez.

Cortez also said the COVID Infection Rate for migrants has risen to a shocking 16%, doubling previous numbers.

Both Cortez and McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos said they have not heard “a single word” from the federal government.

Said Mayor Villalobos on his Facebook page yesterday:
McAllen , please be patient. We are working diligently to keep everyone safe. If you want to be proactive, please call:
  • President Joe Biden
  • Senators John Cornyn & Ted Cruz
  • Congressmen Vicente Gonzalez & Henry Cuellar
Despite the City of McAllen and its community partners’ best efforts, the sheer number of immigrants being released into the city has become a crisis – its a crisis the City of McAllen did not create, and has proactively tried to avoid for seven years.