Migrants crossing the U.S. southern border and testing positive for COVID-19 are free to board buses and continue cross-country journeys into the United States, a new report has revealed.
At a bus station in Brownsville, Texas, border-crossers released by U.S. Border Patrol receive a rapid COVID-19 test before boarding buses to their intended destinations throughout the United States.
Destinations include Texas, North Carolina, Maryland, and even up to New Jersey.
Over one in 20 have tested positive.
A spokesman for the City of Brownsville confirmed they don’t have the authority to stop migrants who test positive from getting on buses to the rest of the country. Municipal workers can only recommend that those who test positive ask local non-government groups and nonprofits to help them find somewhere to quarantine.
“The City of Brownsville continues to follow all guidelines provided by the CDC and DSHS for Covid-19. The migrants who test positive at the B-Metro facility are advised of quarantine procedures and are asked to socially distance,” a Brownsville spokesperson said.
Some of those who tested positive told Noticias Telemundo Investiga they intended to wear masks, wash their hands, and continue their journeys through and into the United States.
Immigrants who have recently crossed the southern border frequently travel by bus to their relatives in the United States, and while bus companies follow CDC mitigation protocols, they can’t require a COVID-19 test to board the bus.