Rio Grande Valley immigration officials preparing for migrant caravan

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As thousands of migrants travel from Central America towards the U.S. border, Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents are preparing for a possible spread of the virus in the case the group heads to the southwest Texas border. 

“Our concerns with the migrant caravan right now, especially at this time, is with COVID, really,” said Border Patrol Agent spokesperson Christian Alvarez. “Whenever you get such a large group of people all massed together and coming from various countries, there is going to be a high likelihood of spread of COVID.” 

Alvarez said there’s still a great need for agents to get vaccinated. 

“There are more agents who haven’t received a vaccination than there are of those who have,” Alvarez said. 

Agents are prepared to offer medical screening and PPE to migrants who may cross illegally. If agents come across anyone showing signs of COVID-19, they will be sent to a medical facility before being processed at a temporary holding facility in Donna. 

Lily Ricketts, an assistant administrator of STHS Edinburg Children’s Hospital, said agents who are EMS and EMT certified are qualified to receive the vaccine at South Texas Health System as they are considered medical first responders.

Any EMS or EMT certified Border Patrol agent interested in getting the Moderna vaccine with South Texas Health System is asked to call 956-388-2190.


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