Surprise: Ted Cruz is, as usual, full of shit. The Republican senator had grossly claimed last week that COVID-19 cases in south Texas are on the rise as “a direct result” of undocumented immigrants “being released into communities.” Like noted at the time, we know this is a racist trope with a long, disturbing history. What Cruz said is just a straight-up lie—and there’s new data made public since then further knocking down his claim.
“Several days ago, Ted Cruz blamed migrants for rising COVID cases in South Texas,” tweeted immigration policy expert Aaron Reichlin-Melnick. “Well, newly-released data from one of the largest migrant shelters in South Texas not only conclusively disproves that claims, but also shows that 90% of migrants have voluntarily gotten a vaccine!”
By comparison, just 42% of Texans have been vaccinated, The Texas Tribune reported this past weekend. Reichlin-Melnick, policy counsel for the American Immigration Council, noted that while the “COVID test positivity rate among migrants has increased from 4% to 8%,” Texas’ rate “has risen to 10%.”
“In addition, every migrant is tested, which is obviously not happening elsewhere,” he continued in his thread. “So the true rate for the rest of Texas is likely higher.” Valerie Gonzalez reports for The Monitor that when migrants arriving at one overnight shelter in the region do test positive for the virus, they are quarantined for ten days. Most asylum-seekers have final destinations to the U.S. homes of relatives already here.
Cruz, who during the pandemic tried to secretly travel to a Mexican resort amid a blackout in Texas and was shamed into returning back home, sure isn’t pointing any fingers at Gov. Greg Abbott. The Republican governor in March rushed to lift pandemic restrictions, including blocking “county and city governments from requiring masks, or from limiting business operation, or doing essentially anything to protect their citizens,” Daily Kos’ Mark Sumner wrote at the time.
In a great piece for Press Run Media, Eric Boehlert wrote that our nation “is the only country in the world that’s simultaneously trying to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic while battling a homegrown, deep-pocketed political and media crusade determined to keep the pandemic going,” aided by right-wing media.
Sure enough, when Greg and Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick also sought to disgustingly blame undocumented immigrants for COVID-19 cases, they went onto Fox News to do it. They of course did this with no proof. Because if there’s one thing anti-immigrant politicians are consistent in, it’s in blaming immigrants for problems facing our nation—especially problems anti-immigrant politicians made worse.