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Congresswoman Escobar and Texas Border Delegation Call on Congressional Leadership to Help Protect Border Communities from COVID-19

“Clearly, President Trump is not going to provide leadership on this issue and it will fall on Congress to ensure the safety of border residents by creating a binational strategy.”

Washington, DC, July 22, 2020

Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) and members of the Texas border delegation are calling on Congressional leadership to help protect communities along the U.S.-Mexico border from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by including in the next relief package language mandating a binational strategy and the resources necessary to implement it. 

Led by Congresswoman Escobar, the letter was signed by Representatives Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Filemon Vela (TX-34), and Henry Cuellar (TX-28). 

“With COVID-19 continuing to ravage both countries, it has never been more important for the United States to partner with Mexico to develop a robust border mitigation, testing, and contact tracing plan. Without a coordinated binational response, our border communities’ lives, livelihoods, and the American economy will continue to be at risk,” the lawmakers wrote. 

The letter continued, “Unfortunately, the White House and the Senate have not acted with urgency and border states like Arizona and Texas rapidly reopened before implementing effective testing and tracing policies. As a result, these states and the border communities within them have become COVID-19 hotspots. Additionally, Mexico has not made the investments necessary to increase testing and contact tracing and currently the only public testing taking place is for individuals admitted to hospitals. Communities on both sides of the border, especially those that are key economic arteries, should have identical testing and tracing policies and the resources necessary to complete testing locally to decrease the amount of time border residents must wait for their results.”

The lawmakers concluded the letter by highlighting the importance of any binational COVID-19 strategy to “consider ways to help vulnerable migrants at our border who were pushed out of the U.S. and into Mexico as a result of the so-called Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP),” and stating the President Donald Trump’s abdication of leadership means “it will fall on Congress to ensure the safety of border residents by creating a binational strategy.”

The full letter can be read here

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