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Mexican mayor bans Americans from border city over coronavirus

Police training in Alameda Central park in Mexico City. (Jarek Tuszyński/Wikimedia Commons)
March 27, 2020

A mayor in the Mexican border state of Nuevo Leon banned U.S. citizens from entering his municipality after declaring that they are the ones causing the spread of coronavirus.

Daniel Omar Gonzalez Garza, the mayor of Sabinas Hidalgo in Nuevo Leon, posted a video to Facebook on Wednesday in which he announced his decision to bar U.S. citizens and screen those who work in the U.S. who travel to Sabinas Hidalgo. The municipality is about 85 miles from Laredo, Texas.

“In a few more minutes we will not be allowing that U.S. citizens visit our municipality,” Gonzalez Garza said.

According to comments from a Mexican law enforcement source to Breitbart Texas, officers of the municipality were ordered to begin checking the immigration status of drivers with Texas license plates.

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In a Thursday statement, the Sabinas Hidalgo municipal government provided further details about its efforts to restrict travel and clarified that no citizens would be restricted. The statement said travelers will be stopped at points of entry into the municipality and asked screening questions about symptoms and authorities may contact those travelers to keep track of whether symptoms do manifest later on.

Last week President Donald Trump announced a decision between the U.S. and Mexico to stop all non-essential traffic across the U.S.-Mexico border. At the time, Trump administration officials indicated some cross-border traffic would continue for trade and the shipment of cargo as well as for healthcare workers traveling between sides of the border.

During a press a March 20 press briefing, Trump administration officials indicated one reason for the border closure was due to a number of cases of illegal entrants to the U.S. testing positive for coronavirus and transmitting that illness to other migrants, border officials and U.S. citizens passing through the U.S. border.

Gonzalez Garza’s decision would appear to further restrict those cross-border commuters previously permitted through the U.S.-Mexico border decision.

Gonzalez Garza reportedly made the decision after learning of two women nearby had tested positive for coronavirus.

According to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus case tracking map, Mexico has confirmed 585 cases of coronavirus, of which eight have been fatal and four have recovered. The U.S., by contrast, recently surpassed China as the nation with the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases and on Friday the U.S. had more than 86,000 cases, with more than 1,300 fatalities.