Starr County school district worries migrant surge could cause future lockdowns
The influx of migrants crossing the border into the United States may force lockdowns for some Starr County schools, officials said.
The Director of Public Relations for Rio Grande City Consolidated Independent School District Adrian Ozuna said on March 12, migrants were seen outside a school campus and police officers responded.
The district says the Rio Grande River is down the street from the school, which is where the migrants are coming from.
Ozuna said while it was an isolated incident and students were learning remotely, the short distance between some school campuses and the border, is causing concern.
"We've already increased security and police forces in the four campuses that are in very close proximity to the border," Ozuna said. "Just so this won't happen again."
According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the number of migrants crossing in the Valley during the month of February has significantly increased in comparison to last year.
County Judge Eloy Vera said the influx of migrants could keep affecting schools in the county, forcing them to lockdown.
But he said his main concern with the growing number of migrants was COVID-19.
"What scares me the most is that there are people coming across in large numbers," Vera said. "We don't know if they have the virus or not."
RGC ISD said if there are any future lockdowns, parents will be notified as soon as possible.
Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show the Mr. Ozuna's title as the Director of Public Relations for Rio Grande City Consolidated Independent School District-- a previous version incorrectly stated La Grulla ISD.