City spokesperson: Migrants not required to stay at Anzalduas tent facility
With video of Covid-infected migrants walking near the exit of Anzalduas Park are raising concerns as to whether the migrants are required to remain quarantined at the facility.
McAllen City Manager Roy Rodriguez said they don't have the authority to keep migrants isolated at this pop up shelter until they test negative because they have already been processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.`
"You can’t keep someone locked up,” Rodriguez said. “I'll just use that word. You can't force somebody not to leave a locale so we're doing the best that we can with that. We have the same mindset and that is to ensure that our community, our citizens, are safe, as well as the migrants. We always treated the immigrants like any other person that's in our community, with dignity and respect."
"Essentially when they're in a shelter, they're already released,” Daniel Diaz - director of organizing with the non-profit La Union del Pueblo Entero – said. “They already have permission to be in this country while they're waiting for their case."
Diaz says it all comes down to a responsibility that he believes everyone who tests positive, regardless of immigration status, has.
"The virus doesn't see borders,” Diaz said. “The same question needs to be asked about any person living in the United States. How are you going to force to retain people in their households if they are COVID positive? How do we know that?"
That's why local officials, as well as Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, have stepped up and are tasked with doing a job they've repeatedly said is not theirs.
For the most part, Rodriguez says migrants have been doing their part.