MISSION, Texas—Hundreds of illegal immigrants crowded here under a pavilion in a park where temporary tent facilities were set up to house those who tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, video provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation shows.
The temporary facility was set up deep within Mission’s Anzalduas Park and out of the public view after the city of McAllen issued a disaster declaration in response to around 1,500 COVID-19-positive migrants released in the city last week, according to local officials.
Video shows the conditions at the park, where migrants crowd under a large pavilion and move among several tan tents set up in the area.
Federal and local law enforcement officials prevented friends, family members, and journalists from entering the park.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection source on Wednesday provided the video of the temporary facility set up inside the park. The source asked to remain anonymous because the source wasn’t authorized to speak to reporters on the matter.
People who waited outside the park Saturday to pick up the illegal aliens told The Daily Caller News Foundation that they had no idea their friends and family members were being held in a facility set up for those who tested positive for COVID-19.
“We came here to pick them up, but they told us we can’t go in,” said a man who declined to give his name but said he had emigrated from Honduras. “They said we can’t come in because they have COVID.”
McAllen declared a state of disaster when about 1,500 migrants who tested positive for COVID-19 were released from federal custody into the city around Aug. 4, The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported. The city set up a temporary tent facility in an empty parking lot before moving and expanding the operations to Anzalduas Park.
The man from Honduras said that “a caravan” of Hondurans was making its way to the United States, but he didn’t say how far along in the journey it was.
Those he was supposed to pick up from the park told him that a bus was scheduled to take them to a church in downtown McAllen, but was over half an hour late.
“No. I didn’t know,” the Honduran said of a friend who tested positive for the coronavirus. “Everyone I talked to didn’t know they got sick.”
“I’m waiting for a friend, I don’t know him. He just called and he said that he’s here and he wants to leave already,” McAllen resident Luis Montesino, 60, said. “Immigration is letting people go because there are lots of people, so they can’t keep up with the people and they’re releasing them.”
Montesino said he hadn’t visited the park before and he thinks the number of people illegally entering the U.S. is “alarming.”
Border officials encountered nearly 213,000 migrants at the southern border in July, including a record high of 18,900 unaccompanied migrant minors, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
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