As COVID-19 continues to spike in Mexico, Mexican border control agents are busier than usual with people still trying to cross the U.S. border. Some say it is a direct result of Mexican nationals seeking better hospitals and medical attention in bordering states due to a sudden spike of coronavirus on their own soil. Others think the recent spike of COVID-19 cases is the result of the premature lifting of lockdown restrictions.
Meanwhile, Border Patrol agents continue to apprehend Ecuadorians, Venezuelans, Cubans, and other illegal Central American border crossers. If any migrant complains or shows any symptom of the coronavirus, they are then immediately brought to U.S. hospitals due to CBP policy. On the other hand, Border Patrol officers are now required under new regulations to immediately return Mexican nationals to Mexico, sick or not.
Now, CBP says they take all necessary precautions to ensure that communicable diseases are not spread across populations while they’re in custody and helps those in need of treatment.
Earlier this week, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal all reported a large surge of infected people from Mexico entering Arizona and California borders where hospitals are struggling to treat an overwhelming number of Covid-19 patients. Publications have also reported that most patients who are admitted into the hospitals are legal American expatriates, dual citizenship holders, or Mexican legal permanent residents from Tijuana, one of Mexico’s hardest hit cities recently effected by the coronavirus.
Right now, agents are still getting exposed and testing positive, at least four Border Patrol agents have tested positive for Covid-19 over the past week after detaining migrants in the field. Many Border Patrol agents have ended up in quarantine themselves, though the total number has not yet been reported.
Also, a SA national CBP spokesman said they are aware of all the issues but said the agency doesn’t normally report statistics to the public regarding the number of people who are transported to the hospitals, and if they did, it would take some time to gather and make a report.
It’s also been known that some Mexican citizens know the system well, they know they will not be turned away by these hospitals. Agents refer to these hospitals as their getaways.
While it’s too early to determine an accurate percentage of recent spikes in Texas, California, and Arizona, the number continues to climb as those infected with the virus flee Mexico’s chaotic hospitals for the once calmer American ones. For now we can safely say the spike was brought on by the premature lifting of coronavirus restrictions and Mexicans just looking for better treatment.
Since the US government enacted the Migrant Protection Protocols in January of 2019 – a policy, also known as “Remain in Mexico” has forced asylum seekers to wait for an average of two to three months in dangerous areas along the border before returning home.
These asylum seekers sleep inside tents at shelters along the Northern Mexican border with very little protection from gangs and drug cartels that prey on the stranded. In addition, the situation has gotten a lot worse while the highest spike of COVID-19 has struck Mexico and U.S. borders.
Mexican border town uses ‘sanitizing tunnels’ to disinfect
The Mexican border city of Nogales, Sonora, has set up ‘sanitizing tunnels’ to disinfect people leaving the US through Nogales, Arizona. Drivers are asked to exit their vehicles as they drive onto Mexican soil from Arizona and step into an inflatable tunnel that sprays them with a cleansing solution. This happened directly after the borders city mayor told Mexican news outlets that the majority of the people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in Nogales, Sonora, had recently returned from the US.
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