Hidalgo County along with the Texas city of McAllen declared a local state of disaster on Monday in the face of the high volume of migrants released into the area by border officials and the growing threat COVID-19 could bring.
The statements come after it came to light that border authorities have released nearly 7,000 migrants infected with COVID-19, which “poses a threat” to the health of the United States.
Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez said the region “has reached the point of capacity” and estimated that “extraordinary measures” such as this are necessary to help the county qualify for additional funds to help mitigate the costs of mass migration.
“The goal is to put us in a position to make a claim with the fed government to the situation that we have here in Hidalgo County dealing with these legal immigrants,” Cortez said and further asserted that “we have an overflow where it’s difficult to manage.”
Cortez’s office later issued a statement saying that the order “is targeting those migrants who are legally in this country seeking asylum, but are being released by immigration officials in high volumes while the spread of COVID-19 is spiking within our community.”
McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos also issued a disaster declaration due to the large number of migrants the city is dealing with. “The Department of Homeland Security releases hundreds of migrants per day in downtown McAllen into the care of the non-profit organization Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, which is operating out of a city-owned building.
In this regard, Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz told Fox News that the Biden-Harris administration is responsible for its immigration policy. “This unacceptable,” he stated. “Their open border is endangering, not just the people of Texas, but people all across the country.”