Aug 19, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Rep. Veronica Escobar says U.S. can do more to help migrants with COVID-19

Axios reporter Stef Kight and Rep. Veronica Escobar speaking at Axios' event Thursday.

Photo: Axios

Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) told Axios at a virtual event Thursday that the country needs to do more when it comes to migrants who are crossing the border and contracting COVID-19.

Why it matters: A recent report from Noticias Telemundo Investiga showed that about 40% of undocumented immigrants who died on their way to the U.S. and ended up in a Falfurrias, Texas, morgue had contracted COVID-19 prior to their deaths.

What she's saying: "The very same Republican leaders who are complaining or trying to scapegoat, rather, migrants for bringing in COVID are the same Republican leaders who don't care that the American unvaccinated public is spreading COVID," Escobar said.

  • "So to me, it really demonstrates that this is more of a feeling of xenophobia and scapegoating than a true public health concern," she added.
  • "We can do more, but part of what's standing in the way is our own governor," Escobar said referring to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. "The federal government has tried to provide communities with FEMA funds to ensure that local communities can more adequately test trace migrants, and we have a governor who has rejected that funding."
  • "So could the administration do more? I think they're doing absolutely everything possible to ensure that migrants are tested. I do want them to do more, but we need also a collaborator and a partner in state leadership."

Watch the full event here.

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