Immigrant activist group helps border communities prep for coronavirus | KOB 4

Immigrant activist group helps border communities prep for coronavirus

Ryan Laughlin
Updated: March 04, 2020 01:02 PM
Created: March 02, 2020 06:56 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— An immigrant activist organization is helping inform border communities about what to do if coronavirus hits.

"There's a lack of information of what is happening. People do not know what this virus is about,” said Fernando Garcia, founder of the Border Network for Human Rights.

The nonprofit works to empower immigrant communities in southern New Mexico and Texas.

Garcia said the number one message he wants to send to those communities is to not panic.

“I think it is important to say to people that we need to try to get the most reliable information before we make any decision. Secondly, is based on that information, to prepare because I think we need to be prepared. I believe that this is expanding very rapidly,” Garcia said.

The CDC and World Health Organization websites have up-to-date information about the virus.

The nonprofit group also calls out abuse of government power at the border. Garcia said he had concerns over the comments President Trump made at a Saturday press conference where he said he would consider closing the southern border.

"The problem that this administration has—at least with us and people at the border—it is a problem of credibility. Because the president has somehow found a way to politicize everything,” Garcia said.

Garcia believes working with neighboring countries is a more effective way to fight off a potential pandemic.

"Closing the border, building a border wall is not going to stop any viruses if it's not because of the collaboration between governments, and I think that should be priority—collaboration rather than isolation,” he said.

Customs and Border Protection sent KOB 4 statement that said they will continue to facilitate the CDC’s enhanced health screenings at ports of entry. Additionally, anyone apprehended by CBP who has symptoms of illness will be referred to the CDC for additional screening.

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