Laredo Sector: Coronavirus Update

Border Patrol Agents and Support Staff,

This past week, the Laredo Sector had a subject in custody that was positive for COVID-19 and a few weeks prior the Laredo Sector had a subject that was temporarily detained and also positive with COVID-19.

The first incident occurred when Border Patrol Agents at the TX Hwy 359 checkpoint temporarily detained a driver that claimed to be COVID-19 positive. Health records later confirmed that the subject was in fact positive for COVID-19. The driver was not arrested and immediately released.The second incident took place at the TX Hwy 59 checkpoint when Border Patrol agents arrested a driver for alien smuggling.

During processing, the driver claimed to have tested positive for COVID-19. Health records later confirmed that the driver had in fact tested positive for COVID-19.Because of a lack of guidance and safety procedures, both incidents were handled poorly and Border Patrol agents and their families were left exposed to COVID-19.

In both of those incidents, station management declared that the Agents were exposed to only “LOW RISK” in accordance with CBP guidance. After the Union became involved, all agents involved were considered to have been exposed to “MEDIUM to HIGH RISK” and were approved Safety leave in order for agents to seek medical attention.

Because there is a lack of guidance on who will actually transport, monitor, care, feed, etc. any subject that is in our custody and is COVID-19 positive, the Union will be proposing that BORSTAR agents be responsible for all COVID-19 related duties and responsibilities.

BORSTAR agents are highly trained and possess the skills to better handle COVID-19 related duties and responsibilities. The Union will be meeting with CPA Felix Chavez this afternoon to discuss the creation and implementation of an LRT COVID-19 Response Team (BORSTAR) and to establish the proper safety procedures for Agents to handle any subject that is encountered and is confirmed or suspected to be COVID-19 positive.

We will update you as soon as more information is available.

Thank you for your continued support!Stay safe,Hector Garza President Local 2455