Top stories: Judge orders migrants released, South Texas town gives fine-less citations, plant workers test positive for virus


SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Border Report’s California, El Paso region and South Texas correspondents share the top stories from along the U.S.-Mexico Border. Here are the headlines for June 25 from the Border Report team.

Federal judge orders release of migrants at California detention center 

On Monday evening, a federal judge in San Diego ordered the release of at least 72 migrants being held at the Otay Mesa Detention Center in South San Diego. U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw ruled in favor of the American Civil Liberties Union, which had filed suit in federal court asking for the reduction of the population inside the facility, especially those with pre-existing medical conditions and those over 45 years of age, people who are more prone to get COVID-19. Watch Salvador Rivera’s full report.

Texas border city issuing citations for not wearing facial coverings in public, not collecting fines

Although officials in the South Texas city of Laredo may no longer collect fines from those not wearing facial coverings, due to the governor’s recent orders, they said Tuesday that they still plan on issuing citations any way. This came after the Laredo City Council late Monday night in a split decision voted to continue giving out citations, regardless of the ability to actually collect fees. Those favoring the measure cited the high rate of COVID-19 infections in Laredo and Webb County. As of Tuesday, the city and county have had 400 coronavirus cases, including 100 healthcare workers infected, and 17 deaths from the virus. During a noon video conference call with media on Tuesday, Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz explained in response to a question from Border Report that the issuing of citations with no legal teeth is more a symbolic gesture to continue to impress upon residents the importance of covering their nose and mouth in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Watch Sandra Sanchez’s full report.

Plastic shields, social distancing and remote work likely to outlive COVID-19 pandemic 

The New Mexico Department of Health is testing the employees of a meat-packing plant after an employee turned up positive for COVID-19. State officials said testing is ongoing at Stampede Meat Inc. 5700 McNutt Road, inSunland Park, New Mexico. Samples are being flown out of Las Cruces to a health department lab in Albuquerque by members of the Civil Air Patrol, KRQE reported. Read Julian Resendiz’s full report.

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The mission of is to provide real-time delivery of the untold local stories about people living, working and migrating along the U.S. border with Mexico. The information is gathered by experienced and trusted Nexstar Media Group journalists hired specifically to cover the border.