Governor Greg Abbott (R) ordered Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers to stop any ground transportation of migrants following an uptick in cases of COVID-19. The governor issued an executive order to stop the ground transportation of migrants who have been detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
“The dramatic rise in unlawful border crossings has also led to a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases among unlawful migrants who have made their way into our state, and we must do more to protect Texans from this virus and reduce the burden on our communities,” said Governor Abbott. “This Executive Order will reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure in our communities.”
The move from the Texas governor comes as increasing numbers of migrants crossing the border are found to be infected with the coronavirus. It also follows an incident where a migrant family, released by U.S. Border Patrol officials in the Rio Grande Valley Sector, were found in a Whataburger restaurant exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, Breitbart Texas reported.
Concerned customers called local police who investigated and learned the migrants had been released by Border Patrol “because they were sick with COVID-19,” the migrants told police.
Abbott’s order directs the Texas DPS to “to stop any vehicle upon reasonable suspicion of such violation and reroute such vehicles back to its point of origin or a port of entry,” the governor’s office said in a written statement. DPS also has the authority to impound a vehicle that violates the Executive Order.”
Governor Abbot’s executive order states:
1. No person, other than a federal, state, or local law-enforcement official, shall provide ground transportation to a group of migrants who have been detained by CBP for crossing the border illegally or who would have been subject to expulsion under the Title 42 order.
2. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is directed to stop any vehicle upon reasonable suspicion of a violation of paragraph 1, and to
reroute such a vehicle back to its point of origin or a port of entry if a violation is confirmed.
3. DPS is authorized to impound a vehicle that is being used to transport migrants in violation of paragraph I, or that refuses to be rerouted in
violation of paragraph 2.
Earlier this week, Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez, a Democrat, criticized the Biden Administration regarding the release by CBP into his communities who are infected with COVID-19, Breitbart’s Ildefonso Ortiz and Brandon Darby reported.
“We now face a potential crisis because of the federal policy of releasing infected migrants into our community, coupled with the state policy that prohibits us from implementing essential safety measures,” Cortez said in a written statement. “This is unacceptable.”
Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings also sounded the alarm last week regarding the number of migrants testing positive for COVID-19 and the subsequent infection of Border Patrol agents under his command, Breitbart reported. He said 40 agents tested positive for the virus so far this year. That number was later increased to 70 in a Fox News report.
During the first two weeks in July, 135 migrants being detained tested positive for the coronavirus. This marks a 900 percent increase over the previous 14 months, Fox News stated. This is just in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.
Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Face