Brownsville: 210 migrants have tested positive for COVID-19
With Gov. Greg Abbott refusing federal funding to test incoming migrants for COVID-19, cities like Brownsville are relying on nonprofits and other organizations to test and quarantine migrants.
According to Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez, cities are left with little authority when it comes to testing and detaining migrants who are positive for COVID-19.
"At that point, if they choose not to stay, there's nothing really the city can do to control them from leaving," Mendez said. "And we monitor it the best we can, but we can't prevent some people if they leave."
Since Jan. 25, 210 migrants have tested positive for COVID-19 -- a seven percent positivity rate for the nearly 3,000 people who have been processed.
In comparison, the state averaged nearly double that positivity rate at 13 percent.
The number of positive cases and migrants is so far not a concern for Mendez due to the capacity levels of the migrants being processed since the end of January.
The city has been averaging approximately 150 migrants daily, which is much lower than the 400 migrants being processed per day in 2019, when the 'Remain in Mexico' program began.
"I think that a lot of people have kind of really sensationalized some of those numbers as being a threat," Mendez said of the positivity rate. "In my opinion, it's not a threat at this point."