Border crossers released into the interior of the United States by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials have tested positive for the Chinese coronavirus just as President Joe Biden has denied that there is “a crisis” at the U.S.-Mexico border.
After taking office, Biden reinstated the Catch and Release program where border crossers are freed into the U.S. interior while they await asylum and immigration hearings that many do not ultimately attend, instead opting to live illegally in the country.
Aside from about 25,600 migrants enrolled in the now-canceled Remain in Mexico program, border crossers released into the U.S. interior are not required to test negative for the coronavirus. Instead, communities along the border are being forced to test border crossers themselves.
A report by NBC News on Tuesday confirmed that border crossers are testing positive for the coronavirus after being released by DHS officials into the U.S. interior:
Miriam Izaguirre, a 35-year-old asylum-seeker from Honduras, crossed the Rio Grande at dawn Monday with her young son and turned herself in to the authorities. [Emphasis added]
A few hours later she was released, and the first thing she did was take a rapid test for Covid-19 at the Brownsville bus station. They told her her test came out positive.
In Brownsville, Texas, where border crossers are being released, city officials are having to test for the coronavirus. Since city officials began testing on January 25, they told NBC News that that almost 110 border crossers have tested positive. This is a positivity rate of 6.3 percent.
Even after border crossers test positive, at least in Brownsville, they are not required to quarantine. Border crossers interviewed by NBC News said they had tested positive but were planning to continue traveling throughout the U.S. interior to states like North Carolina, Maryland, and New Jersey.