In response to Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order calling for the National Guard to help local law enforcement with arresting asylum seekers crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, Physicians for Human Rights medical director Dr. Michele Heisler released the following statement.
“Yesterday’s order by Gov. Abbott is motivated by xenophobia and not backed by any science. This executive order directing state police to pull over, reroute–and even impound–vehicles in which migrants are traveling will not reduce COVID-19 exposure in the state. It will put migrants and asylum seekers at an added risk to be traumatized and placed in congregate detention rather than being allowed to travel to join family and friends. It will thereby increase their risk of exposure to the coronavirus, plus increase racial profiling.
“This is yet another example of the politicization of public health. As the medical director of Physicians for Human Rights, I strongly condemn this order and urge the governor to stand with medical professionals and science and retract this order.”
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.