Migrant families coming across the border are testing positive for the coronavirus at between three and 10 times the rate of the U.S. population, according to a Washington Times survey of jurisdictions that are doing the testing.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told The Times that the families it is processing are between 5% and 10% positive.
In Brownsville, Texas, the city says it is seeing a 12% positive rate.
And in Harlingen, near Brownsville, the homeless shelter where families are being dropped off reported a group at 25% positive for COVID-19. That’s more than seven times the current positivity test rate for the U.S. public, which Johns Hopkins University’s tracker shows at 3.5%.
Pastor Bill Reagan, who runs Loaves and Fishes, the Harlingen shelter, said they’re doing the best they can with the situation.
“It would be best if Customs and Border Protection decides to release certain individuals into the United States that they thoroughly quarantine them for the 14 days and test them and only release those that rest negative,” he said. “But I also understand they’re overwhelmed.”
Some of the families are being quarantined. A senior ICE official told The Times that those in its custody who test positive are able to be held in isolation, though he said they do try to get nonprofits to help take some of them.
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SOURCE: The Washington Times, Stephen Dinan