Laredo Sues Biden Over ‘Flood’ of Illegal Immigrants Brought Into City

By Charlotte Cuthbertson
Charlotte Cuthbertson
Charlotte Cuthbertson
Senior Reporter
Charlotte Cuthbertson is a senior reporter with The Epoch Times who primarily covers border security and the opioid crisis.
July 20, 2021 Updated: July 20, 2021

The city of Laredo, Texas, is suing the Biden administration in an attempt to stop the transfer of thousands of illegal immigrants from among those apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley and Del Rio to the city.

Laredo officials say in the complaint that they were recently advised that Border Patrol intends to double the number of illegal immigrants brought to Laredo from the Rio Grande Valley—from about 150 individuals to 300 per day.

The lawsuit is asking for a temporary restraining order and an emergency hearing on the issue. It was filed on July 16 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

City officials say local NGOs that assist illegal immigrants are overwhelmed and the number of illegal immigrants being released without COVID-19 testing has increased.

“As Laredo is an underserved medical community with limited resources, it simply cannot accommodate a surge in COVID-19 positives,” the court document states.

It goes on to say that the busloads of illegal immigrants will be dropped off into the general public, at bus stations and at the airport, potentially “exposing the community and fellow citizens to this deadly virus during their travels all over the country.”

Laredo officials say the Biden administration is causing “irreparable harm” with the flood of illegal immigrants being dispersed into Laredo.

“Although the increased influx of RIMs is clearly a federal issue, the federal government has made this a municipal problem to solve on our own,” the complaint states, using the acronym RIM to refer to “refugees, immigrants, and migrants.”

The Department of Homeland Security didn’t respond to a request for comment from The Epoch Times.

Epoch Times Photo
Immigration representatives at Catholic Social Services in Laredo, Texas. (Courtesy of Teresa De la Garza)

A Border Patrol agent told The Epoch Times that when illegal immigrants are brought to a detention facility in the Rio Grande Valley, “they get their standard COVID test, which is, ‘I’m going to check your temperature.'”

All unaccompanied minors are put into pods, and when it’s time to move them out, they go to the medical area for an actual COVID test, the agent said, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions.

“So let’s say out of 50 of them, 25 will come out COVID positive and the other 25 are allowed to travel anyway,” the agent added.

The Laredo lawsuit stated that a “logistical nightmare” would ensue if the Biden administration lifted the Title 42 public health emergency order at the border while the NGO shelters are full.

Title 42 was instituted in March 2020 to allow for illegal immigrants to be quickly expelled back into Mexico as a pandemic precaution, rather than be processed under Title 8 immigration law, which is a much more protracted process inside the United States.

Under President Joe Biden Title 42 has slowly been whittled down since March—first to allow in all unaccompanied children, then families with children under 7, then most families in general, and then single adults from non-Spanish speaking countries.

Title 42 is expected to be removed any day for the remaining single adults still subject to its restrictions.

When that happens, “all hell’s going to break loose,” the agent said. “That means we’re opening the borders to everybody and we’re not going to do a darn thing to you.”

Charlotte Cuthbertson
Charlotte Cuthbertson
Senior Reporter
Charlotte Cuthbertson is a senior reporter with The Epoch Times who primarily covers border security and the opioid crisis.