Waves of illegal immigrants carrying COVID-19 are crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, likely spiking the number of cases along the southern border and also infecting agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, according to officials.
A new report said that the spike in cases in Texas, Arizona, and California are competing in numbers with those blamed on reopening the economy.
“Evidence continues to mount that spikes in COVID cases in U.S. border states are due to successive waves of infected people fleeing Mexico’s dysfunctional and overwhelmed hospitals to get American medical care at least as much, if not more than, to the re-opening of those states’ economies,” said the latest border report from the Center for Immigration Studies.
In Texas, for example, the CIS said that “the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in trauma service areas along the Mexican border more than doubled to 886 of the state’s 3,711 hospitalizations in just the past week.”
The numbers do vary and are hard to break down between those linked to illegal immigrants and those spread in communities that are reopening.
Mark Morgan, the acting commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, told a Senate hearing Thursday that while the crossings are way down, illegal immigrants are still trying to make the journey.
As a result, he said, his agents often come into “high-risk contact” and that some of those captured are infected.
And his agents also live in the communities where there is a spike.
“What is hard to determine, sometimes, is whether they got it from community spread outside of work or they got that while at work. But … they are out there every day especially right now on the southwest border,” Morgan said. “Not everybody has given up down there, a lot of these folks are running from them. They have to go down, and get them close contact, high-risk contact that we could call it. So they are definitely exposed. We’ve had several hundred that have tested positive.”
Author: Paul Bedard
Source: Washington Examiner: Border agents stopping illegal immigrants exposed to COVID-19, ‘several hundred’ infected