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After surge in illegal border crossings, Rio Grande Valley leaders ask President Biden to take action

1 month 2 weeks 1 day ago Friday, March 05 2021 Mar 5, 2021 March 05, 2021 7:23 AM March 05, 2021 in News - Local

While border restrictions continue for tourists with a U.S. visa at international border crossings, thousands are crossing the border illegally.

U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) says the Biden administration is not taking the right measures.

"They need to also listen to have a balanced response to the communities on borders,” Cuellar said.

READ ALSO: Tamaulipas state officials deny claim they're refusing to accept deported migrant children from U.S.  

Cuellar says the Texas border region has lost billions of dollars from Mexican tourists. Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez says change is needed quickly.

“We should be allowing tourists, people that want to see their family, people that want to conduct business,” Mendez said.

Last week in the Valley, 10,000 undocumented migrants have been detained after crossing the border illegally, according to CBP numbers.

Cuellar says that’s an increase that the U.S. is not prepared for, especially during the pandemic.

READ ALSO: After waiting nearly two years at migrant camp in Mexico, Honduran family legally crosses into US  

Some Valley mayors say they’re concerned about the coronavirus spreading among their local communities due to migrants being freed once they’re caught.

"Yet, we're receiving hundreds of people a day, literally hundreds of people a day from Central America that haven't even been tested by the federal government,” McAllen Mayor Jim Darling said.

Mendez says he’s worried migrants with COVID-19 are not being put in quarantine, and some are getting on charter buses and going to destinations across the U.S.

Cuellar, with other local leaders, have sent President Biden a letter asking for more federal control on the migrant surge, and to allow the border to open for tourists with visas by March 21.

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