'Not supported by data': Fact-checkers dismantle Ted Cruz’s claim that migrants are fueling the Texas COVID crisis

'Not supported by data': Fact-checkers dismantle Ted Cruz’s claim that migrants are fueling the Texas COVID crisis
Sen. Ted Cruz // Credit: Gage Skidmore
Forget Ted Cruz — here's what Texas really needs

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is blaming the Biden administration's policy on migrants for the spread of COVID-19 in Texas -- not Republicans' adamant refusal to incorporate mask mandate.s Now, fact-checkers are breaking down his claim and setting the record straight.

During an appearance on Fox News back in August, the Texas lawmaker sounded off about the Biden administration's release of thousands of undocumented immigrants into one county in the Lone Star state; a decision he claims is the reason for the state's alarming spike in Delta variant COVID cases.

"In the last several months, the Biden administration has released over 7,000 illegal aliens who were COVID positive just in one Texas city," Cruz said, adding that the president's border policies are "endangering not just the people of Texas, but people all across the country."

The Republican lawmaker went on to describe Biden and Harris' open-border policy as a "superspreader event."

"Joe Biden likes to talk about this pandemic," Cruz said. "Well, I'll tell you what, the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris was a superspreader event because their open border is endangering not just the people of Texas, but people all across the country."

Fact-checkers at Politifact highlighted the inaccuracy in Cruz's remarks:

"Cruz's overall point — that migrants are fueling the current COVID surge — is not supported by data. The 8% positivity rate of migrants released in McAllen is less than the state's average. And data shows that the distribution of COVID cases throughout the U.S. corresponds more to low vaccination rates than migration patterns."

"Housing and processing of migrants released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in McAllen has been managed by the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, a non-profit. Under Catholic Charities' protocols, migrants are tested for COVID-19 after they are released by Customs and Border Protection."

"Migrants who test positive for the virus are taken 'to quarantine sites in the Rio Grande Valley area' for 10 days, the city said. "Once an immigrant has completed quarantine, they proceed on their final northbound travel out of McAllen."
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