U.S. Firms Lobby to Keep Working in Mexico Despite Coronavirus Curbs

NEW YORK TIMES: U.S. business lobbies are pressuring Mexico’s government to label certain industries “essential” so that strict health emergency measures aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus in Mexico do not halt key operations on both sides of the border.

Bound by a 26-year-old trade agreement, value chains and productions lines in Mexico and the United States are intricately intertwined and countless parts travel back and forth across the border.

“Essential activities in the United States are still operating, still producing and it’s important that this is standardized for American companies in Mexico so as to not break the value chains,” said Luis Foncerrada, chief economist at the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Mexico.

Read on…

Mexico asks U.S., Canada to grant automakers transition for USMCA rules

REUTERS: Mexico’s government on Tuesday asked the United States and Canada to grant its automotive industry extra time to adapt its supply chains as the deadline for implementing a new North American trade deal approaches.

“We have absolute understanding of what the industry is facing and we’re willing to have a transition period specifically for the auto sector as it has been requested,” Deputy Economy Minister Luz Maria de la Mora said at a webcast event hosted by the Wilson Center think tank in Washington.

Mexican auto lobby AMIA said on Monday that 90 days is not enough time for carmakers to adapt supply chains to meet rules of origin requirements in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which could take effect on July 1.

Read on…

Coronavirus is spreading in Texas nursing homes. But the state won’t share the details.

TEXAS TRIBUNE: At least 320 residents and staff members at Texas nursing homes have tested positive for the new coronavirus. At least 18 people have died. And at least seven nursing homes, across five metro areas, are grappling with infections of 10 or more people.

But those numbers, collected by The Texas Tribune from various public health departments and local news reports, likely underrepresent the extent of the COVID-19 outbreak in Texas nursing facilities. That’s because Texas, unlike some other states, is failing to disclose comprehensive data on nursing home residents and staffers who have fallen ill — even though state officials acknowledge they are privately tracking that data.

Read on…

Analysis: A fast drop for the Texas economy — and for the state budget

TEXAS TRIBUNE: Early in every economic crisis, the people in charge turn to their financial folks to ask whether things are as bad as they seem.

Answering a question like that is tricky business. You don’t want to overstate things — to cause an economy to shudder just by saying there’s a big chill in the air. And you don’t want to understate the severity of a real problem, prompting people to take it less seriously or to simply ignore it.

Read on…

El Paso’s Bishop Seitz, migrant advocates call for ICE to release nonviolent detainees during COVID-19 outbreak

EL PASO MATTERS: El Paso’s Catholic bishop and immigrant advocates are calling on Immigration and Customs Enforcement to release nonviolent detainees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Faith and reason tell us that the right thing to do right now is to protect each other by taking steps toward social distancing. The federal government has already recognized that this is very nearly impossible in facilities like prisons and detention centers,” Bishop Mark Seitz said at a news conference Tuesday. “Therefore, I’m calling on our local U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency to urgently and quickly prioritize the release of nonviolent migrants from the immigration detention facilities in our community. This will protect the health of migrants, our immigration enforcement personnel and our entire El Paso community.”

Read on…

This year’s Seder is different, but Passover’s messages and inspiration remain

EL PASO MATTERS: Wednesday evening begins the best-known Jewish holiday, Passover, commemorating the Israelite redemption from Egyptian slavery 3,332 years ago. The festival’s traditions, rituals and recipes are so unique that for thousands of years the Passover dinner, called the Seder, features four questions traditionally asked by the children, starting with “What makes this night different from all other nights?”

This year, Passover will be different from all other Seders in living history because even while we live in a free society, we must all celebrate the festival alone. For most it will be the first time they are not celebrating the Seder together with extended family or community, and for many it will be a night spent alone.

Read on…

El Paso County positive COVID-19 cases rise to 153

EL PASO TIMES: El Paso County has seen its largest spike in COVID-19 cases with 28 new positive cases in just one day, bringing the total to 153.

Cases in El Paso County include 79 females and 74 males, with 27 patients hospitalized and 10 in intensive care. Three of those patients are on ventilators. Eighteen people have recovered from the virus.

“This rise in cases is to be expected because of increased testing, and community spread,” Dr. Hector Ocaranza, city/county health authority said in a news release. “The good news is that private businesses like grocery stores and other essential businesses are taking responsibility to tighten their policies and implementing social distancing as ordered.” 

Read on…

‘Terrified of dying’: Immigrants beg to be released from immigration detention as coronavirus spreads

EL PASO TIMES: Gretchen Romero says there’s no conceivable way for her to protect herself from contracting coronavirus.  

Romero, 27, a Cuban migrant who’s been held in custody for eight months since requesting asylum in the U.S., said there’s no room inside her dormitory at the South Louisiana ICE Processing Center to walk, eat or sleep while practicing social distancing. She said guards come in and out of their dorm without wearing masks or gloves. More than 70 detainees in the dorm share five bars of soap, and she says no additional disinfectant or hand sanitizer has been provided at the facility where some detainees have already been isolated over fears of coronavirus.

Read on…

Laredo order to cover nose and mouth about to get stricter

LAREDO MORNING TIMES: During Monday’s eight-hour City Council meeting, Health Authority Dr. Victor Treviño recommended that all Laredoans regardless of age wear masks or facial coverings at all times: while driving, while out walking or running — anytime they leave the house.

“It’s a better idea to keep the mask on, even if there’s nobody around. We need to go across the board, because a lot of exceptions will make the rule or the ordinance or the idea of what we’re trying to do invalid,” Treviño said. “So we need to be a little bit stricter.”

Read on…

Second coronavirus-related death reported in Nuevo Laredo

LAREDO MORNING TIMES: A second person has died in Nuevo Laredo due to the novel coronavirus, municipal and state officials said on Tuesday.

She was hospitalized at the IMSS Hospital, commonly known as “El hospital de la bandera.”

“With deep sorrow but with the responsibility to inform, I regret to communicate, with official information, the second death by coronavirus in Nuevo Laredo. This terrible virus is already a local and lethal contagion … My heart goes out to the family. rest in peace,” said Nuevo Laredo Mayor in a statement.

Read on…

Undocumented population face COVID-19 challenges

BROWNSVILLE HERALD: As new rules and regulations are put in place to deter the spread of COVID-19 among county residents, the Rio Grande Valley’s undocumented community faces unique challenges navigating orders while trying to work and access healthcare.

Organizers with La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) have been in touch with community members since Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr. issued a two-week long shelter in place order on March 26. The increased presence of law enforcement in cities across the county sparked concern over potential immigration consequences for undocumented residents who drive to work and can’t obtain a driver’s license in Texas, according to organizers.

Read on…

County issues nursing home orders

BROWNSVILLE HERALD: Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr.’s has issued an emergency management order regarding nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

The order mandates nursing home and long-term care facilities to notify all staff, residents and residents’ family members of any residents diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus.

The order requires nursing homes and facilities to post statements of diagnosis at main entrances and websites within 30 minutes of identification of a COVID-19 case.

Read on…

County probe links virus cases between Veranda and Atrium

VALLEY MORNING STAR: A health care worker carried the coronavirus from a Harlingen nursing home to a rehabilitation center here, Cameron County’s health administrator said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño issued an emergency management order aimed at nursing homes and “other long-term care facilities.”

Officials are trying to determine the identify of the health care worker who carried the COVID-19 virus from the Veranda Healthcare & Rehabilitation to Windsor Atrium, Health Administrator Esmeralda Guajardo said.

Read on…

First COVID-19 death reported in Hidalgo County

MCALLEN MONITOR: Hidalgo County confirmed its first COVID-19 related death Tuesday evening.

According to a news release from the county, the individual was a 76-year-old Alamo man with underlying medical conditions.

The man had been hospitalized for several weeks with health issues and was recently tested for the coronavirus strain, the statement read.

The man’s identity was not revealed.

Read on…

Stay informed. Sign up for the Rio Grande Guardian’s daily e-newsletter:

Sign-up for the latest news

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: . You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact