Border Patrol handing migrants face masks to halt spread of COVID-19

Border Report Tour

CBP Acting Commissioner says border security intertwined with public health

Lordsburg, New Mexico-area Border Patrol agents hand out personal protective equipment to migrants detained at the border. (Photo courtesy U.S. Border Patrol)

BorderReport.com Resources

Border Report 30 Min Special

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — U.S. Border Patrol agents are not only wearing masks to protect themselves against COVID-19, but they’re also handing them out to the migrants they detain.

In a tweet posted Wednesday, Border Patrol El Paso Sector Chief Gloria I. Chavez showed agents in Lordsburg, N.M., handing migrants plastic bags with the personal protective equipment and a message from the Department of Homeland Security.

“Agents continue to issue PPE to subjects they encounter while enforcing immigration laws,” Chavez tweeted.

Border Patrol El Paso Sector spokesman Mario Escalante said personal protective equipment is being handed out to agents, staff as well as anyone stopped along the border.

“As you know, COVID-19 makes any individual arriving at our borders a potential risk, with or without symptoms. Our agents are taking every precaution to prevent potential risk to those in our custody,” Escalante said. “Frontline personnel and anyone who may need to come into contact with illegal immigrants that we encounter” is getting the PPE.

In testimony June 25 before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan said COVID-19 is one of the federal agency’s main challenges now.

He said border enforcement is intertwined with safeguarding public health.

“Make no mistake: any individual arriving at our borders — with or without symptoms — is a potential risk to our frontline personnel, healthcare workers, the American people, our communities, and the U.S. healthcare system itself,” Morgan said.

He told the senators the agency screens lawful travelers from 130 countries at land, sea and airports on a regular basis for COVID-19, plus the thousands who try to enter the country illegally.

“Border Patrol agents apprehending aliens between the (ports of entry) are also observing everyone they encounter for symptoms of COVID-19 so they can refer them to further medical screening by the appropriate health authorities if necessary,” Morgan said.

Visit the BorderReport.com homepage for the latest exclusive stories and breaking news about issues along the United States-Mexico border.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

borderlogo

About Border Report

The mission of BorderReport.com is to provide real-time delivery of the untold local stories about people living, working and migrating along the U.S. border with Mexico. The information is gathered by experienced and trusted Nexstar Media Group journalists hired specifically to cover the border.

Mobile Apps DMB_1503428499636.png

Trending Now