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Vice President of The National Border Patrol Council: Many immigrants are not being tested for COVID-19

Art Del Cueto says that this year alone the number of immigrants illegally entering the country are staggering.

TEXAS, USA — The Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council Union, Art Del Cueto welcomes the news that politicians are now visiting the border for a firsthand look at what's going on.

Del Cueto spoke with 3News reporter Michael Gibson on Friday about the huge issues happening at the border and says that many of the immigrants are not being tested for COVID-19.

3News ask Del Cueto the following.

“When they first come in are they being quarantined and held and then released or are they not even being tested or anything and being let go?”

“So that's a fantastic question that adds to everything else that's going on. If you have individuals who are coming into the country and they don't show any symptoms then there's no reason to be using tests I'm trying to test them so they're not testing them not everyone is getting tested it's just not happening,” said Del Cueto.

The National Border Patrol Council represents over 17 thousand of the men and women working along our borders. Many of those agents are trying to handle a huge surge of immigrants coming across from Mexico. A problem that Del Cueto believes could be better handled by fast tracking asylum claims. 

“One of the big issues that I believe should be looked into is putting more immigration judges on the border so they can fast track a lot of these cases,” said Del Cueto.

Another big issue that the union feels the federal government needs to focus on are those people who are being smuggled into the country.

“One of the things that everyone should be concerned with is the ‘gotaways’ as we call them,” said Del Cueto. “The gotaways ways are individuals that entered the United States and chose not to turn themselves in directly they did everything they could to avoid detection and evade arrest."

Del Cueto says that this year alone the numbers of those immigrants illegally entering the country are staggering.

“You're looking at close to 40,000 gotaways in Arizona year to date and,  the second closest to that would be in Del Rio Texas with a right around 17,000 so you can see the number is dramatic and that's what people need to understand and be most concerned with,” said Del Cueto.

The problems along our border have gotten the attention of politicians. Many have already traveled to the border or will be doing that in the coming weeks.

An issue that Dr. Bill Chriss, 3News political expert believes could turn into one of the biggest national issues as we continue to move forward out of the pandemic.

“Whether immigration becomes a big issue depends on whether or not there are bigger issues that more people are concerned about,” said Chriss.

Right now, the border patrol union is definitely concerned about the new immigration policies and procedures.

They are hoping that government officials move quickly to try and make the changes necessary to control the flow of immigrants. That as tens of thousands are now being smuggled across our border every month.

For the latest updates on coronavirus in the Coastal Bend, click here.

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