Temporary shelter for COVID positive migrants opens in less than 24 hours in Mission
Hidalgo County’s new temporary shelter for migrants who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 opened in less than 24 hours in Mission.
The first 200 arrived early, many seeking protection from the scorching South Texas sun.
Men carried mats over their heads; women carried babies.
Each of them carrying a virus linked to more than 5,000 deaths in the Rio Grande Valley.
"COVID has made this extremely much more complicated,” said Catholic Diocese of Brownsville Bishop Daniel Flores.
Catholic Charities in McAllen ran out room to quarantine COVID-positive migrants at the respite center and in multiple motels.
So picnic tables are now resting spots. Orange cones double as toys.
And there's another problem, outside of space.
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"You can’t keep someone locked up, I'll just use that word,” said McAllen City Manager Roy Rodriguez. “You can’t force somebody not to leave a locale."
In the past, Anzalduas Park was a sort of finish line for those crossing without permission. The American soil many paid dearly to step on.
The tent compound relocated from McAllen to Mission overnight.
McAllen's city manager says FEMA is footing the bill.
It is taxpayer money, but its not coming out of the local budget.
The price tag so far? $1.5 million.