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The Real COVID Threat To Texans Is Gov. Abbott and His Policies, Not Immigrants

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Washington, DC — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) blames his state’s dismal reaction to COVID-19 – and the latest surge of infections, hospitalizations and deaths – on migrants seeking asylum at his state’s border with Mexico. Via executive order, he is attempting to restrict the transportation of migrants and target religious and volunteer organizations that help migrants, which has attracted a federal lawsuit. The Governor, who has national political ambitions, has apparently decided that playing the conservative politics of COVID-19 is more important than protecting Texans from the virus. 

Abbott is clearly escalating as the COVID-19 crisis in Texas gets worse, as other political problems work against him (the state’s faulty power grid, attacks on voting rights and escalating gun violence). He also seems intent on helping his Republican senators – Cruz and Cornyn – who want to use border challenges to oppose long overdue and broadly supported pathways to citizenship legislation.

But the facts about COVID-19 in Texas, the Governor’s response to the pandemic, and the real story of COVID-19 and immigrants in Texas tells a very different story than the one the Governor wants his voters to hear. 

Unlike the general population of Texas, migrants coming over the border are tested for COVID-19…

…which Gov. Abbott is trying to stop.

What HAS been shown to increase COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and deaths is Abbott’s measures prematurely dropping public safety measures…

…which has led to Texas becoming one of the hardest hit places in the nation.

  • Texas Tribune: “‘On a crash course’: Texas hospitals brace for another COVID-19 surge as delta variant burns through unvaccinated communities
  • Times Record News: “Texas cases surge 79.1%”
  • KHOU 11: “Number of children hospitalized with COVID-19 in Houston rising at worst time possible”

Experts say that border-crossing migrants are not the major source of new COVID-19 infections in Texas

COVID-19 rates among migrants coming over the border are actually the same as the general population of Texas.