Texas Declared Federal Disaster; Mayor Applauds CBP Efforts to Keep Border Safe


Pharr, Texas – Amid the rapidly-evolving situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), the City of Pharr and Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, M.D., will be providing regular updates to keep the media and the public informed as information develops. City officials urge media outlets to please share with their respective reading/viewing/listening audiences.

Texas Declared Federal Disaster

Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced today the approval of a Major Disaster Declaration for the State of Texas by President Donald J. Trump. The declaration will allow for additional federal assistance to save lives, protect property, public health, and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of COVID-19.

Mayor Applauds CBP Efforts to Keep Border Safe from Spread of COVID-19

Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, M.D., meets with CBP Port Director Carlos Rodriguez.

Pharr, Texas – Though a federal emergency order has limited travel along the U.S.-Mexico border for non-essential travel and services, the border remains open for trade and essential travel. In response to community concerns regarding Pharr’s proximity to the border as a recently-identified “hot spot” whereby individuals traveling to or through Pharr from unknown international countries of origin might pose a risk to the health, safety, and wellbeing of our Pharr community, this morning, Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, M.D., took proactive measures to meet with officials at the Pharr International Bridge, including the U. S. Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to determine what procedures are being taken to ensure that those who cross the bridge are not at risk of being infected and spreading the coronavirus when they enter our country and our city. CBP officials assured Hernandez that they are acting in accordance with President Donald J. Trump’s emergency declaration.

According to CBP officials, “CBP will utilize appropriate methods to maintain operational control of any individuals seeking entry to the United States and will prohibit the entry of any person who may pose a public health risk to the United States.”

As a physician and surgeon, Mayor Hernandez has been concerned for the public health of our Pharr community and that of the Rio Grande Valley. “During this public health emergency, it is critical that as leaders, we are doing whatever it takes to protect the health and safety of our citizens,” said Hernandez.

“I want to thank our partners at CBP, especially Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, for his leadership in rolling out this flawless initiative,” Hernandez stated. “These dedicated men and women serving our country continue to ensure that at the Pharr International Bridge, critical trade and commerce remain moving forward, and illegal crime and narcotics activity is stopped. Now, they are selflessly answering the call of duty to our country by adding this additional responsibility of working to protect and preserve our citizens’ public health at the border,” Hernandez continued. “I applaud the CBP’s efforts to control the safety of our borders and for their responsiveness in addressing our concerns,” he added. 

“Evidence around the world is demonstrating the devastating impact and loss of lives that this virus can cause,” Hernandez stated. “With the right communication and coordination in place, we can calm the waters with respect to what is going on around the country,” Hernandez added.

“Most importantly, it is imperative that everyone understand that we all need to continue to do our part to slow the spread of this disease to try to minimize the impact it will have on our community,” he ended.

City of Pharr and CBP officials meet to discuss border safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.