Almost 300 migrants that have tested positive and/or been exposed to COVID-19 positive family members have been put in quarantine in El Paso, Texas hotels. The information is released just “one week after federal authorities emptied the makeshift migrant camp under the international bridge in Del Rio, where thousands of Haitian migrants had amassed after illegally crossing the border” reports National Review.
“From the onset of the pandemic, the City has operated a non-congregate isolation and quarantine program for vulnerable populations to include homeless and migrants that are COVID positive,” said City of El Paso Strategic Communications Director Laura Cruz-Acosta in a statement to National Review.
“We are currently providing quarantine and isolation at two hotels for 285 migrants which include Haitians recently released to our local NGO by immigration officials,” she said. “Positive cases and exposed family members remain together in a hotel room for 10 days.”
Deven Bhakta, a front desk attendant at one of the motels in El Paso, the SuperLodge, said over 100 migrants are currently staying there in quarantine, including families and single mothers.
Bhakta added the motel opened its rooms to migrants “a while ago” and the manager decided to hand over the entire motel to migrants three weeks ago after business was slow.
Some liberal politicians and mainstream media have painted the treatment of migrants as poor. President Biden himself jumped on a false narrative from the press that migrants were whipped by border patrol agents on horseback, and launched an investigation.
A recent Haitian Times article claimed migrants “lacked adequate access to food, medical care and other necessities,” which Bhakta refuted. He confirmed migrants are fed three meals a day and volunteers come with donations of medicines, clothes, baby diapers, hygiene products and more. He added at least one individual per day requires medical care.
National Review reports:
A Homeland Security spokesperson told CNN on Wednesday that roughly 4,600 Haitians had been removed from the U.S. on 43 repatriation flights from Texas to Haiti since September 19.
Asked whether all the Haitian migrants who turned themselves over to Border Patrol in Del Rio would be tested for COVID, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has said that those showing symptoms would be immediately quarantined and tested. Many COVID-positive people do not experience symptoms and the virus can spread asymptomatically.
Encouraged by the success rate of their predecessors, an estimated 60,000 more Haitians are en route to the southern border via Colombia and are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.