Hidalgo County leaders call for government's help amid migrant surge

2 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago Wednesday, July 28 2021 Jul 28, 2021 July 28, 2021 6:32 PM July 28, 2021 in News - Local

Several Hidalgo County leaders called upon federal and state governments to help with the migrant crisis along the southern border, following a viral social media post from the La Joya Police Department.

On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order restricting the transportation of migrants infected with COVID-19, less than 24 hours after speaking with La Joya Mayor Isidro Casanova.

During their phone call, Casanova said he asked Abbott's for assistance with the migrant surge in Hidalgo County, an idea echoed by county judge Richard Cortez.

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"What's happening is a federal issue," Cortez said. "The federal government hasn't solved it. We have called our congressmen, we have tried to reach out to Congress to change the policies to stop this flow. We've had no success in doing that."

Roughly 8.3% of migrants are testing positive for COVID-19, according to Cortez.

Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra says federal agencies tapped the sheriff's department to assist them with the immigration increase. Guerra says his office is currently working on an agreement to use inmate transportation buses and vans to transport migrants from the field to U.S. Border Patrol stations.

"If the numbers keep continuing, I don't think the federal government realizes that this is non-sustainable," Guerra said. "They, really, need to do something about it. They need some really serious policy changes here on the southwest border."

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