ScotSkim: First migrant facility, Texas’ mask mandate, National Guard request

March 10, 2021

In+Texas%2C+the+mask+mandate+ends+and+the+Biden+administration%27s+first+migrant+facility+for+teenagers+reopens.

Chelsea Chang

In Texas, the mask mandate ends and the Biden administration’s first migrant facility for teenagers reopens.

The first migrant facility for teenagers under the Biden administration recently reopened, receiving criticism from many. Among the most prominent critics was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who said it was “not okay, never has been okay, never will be okay – no matter the administration or party” on Twitter.

The temporary shelter located in Carrizo Springs, Texas, was once used under the Trump administration. Under an emergency public health law set by former President Donald Trump, many migrants have been turned down by U.S. authorities. However, the Biden administration has decided to keep entry for minors open. Now, there are concerns that the number of migrants in the next few months could surpass the record set in May 2019.

“Our hope and expectation is that won’t stay open very long, that we will be able to provide for every kid that comes across the border to safely be housed in a facility that is licensed,” said President Joe Biden in a public comment.

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Texas ends mask mandate

On Tuesday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that starting on March. 10, Texas will no longer have a mask mandate, making it the largest state to do so. Additionally, all businesses will be able to open at 100% capacity, although only 7% of Texans have been fully vaccinated, according to NPR.

While businesses can still choose to enforce face coverings — and many like Target and Walgreens will continue to do so — and Abbott said that personal responsibilities still apply, local officials will be unable to enforce or give penalties for refusing to wear face coverings.

Abbott’s announcement has faced criticism from both sides, some noting Abbott’s plans to run for a third term as governor in 2022. Additionally, some believe that Abbott will be loosening restrictions by too much, while others claim that his announcement should have come earlier.

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Capitol Police asks for extended National Guard stay

A formal request was sent to the Defense Department asking for a 60-day extension of National Guard troops at Capitol Hill. The acting chief of the Capitol Police sent the request on Thursday, according to Associated Press.

Previously, the acting chief had made the same request to the board that oversees her department and later appealed to congressional leaders after the request was denied, according to New York Times.

For many, security concerns have increased after the Jan. 6 riot at Capitol Hill. Additionally, intelligence discovered another “possible plot” with ties to QAnon that was rumored to occur on Mar. 4. However, no riots took place on that day.

Currently, there are over 5,000 Guard members stationed in Washington, D.C., with their departure set for March 12. The acting chief’s request asks for as many as 2,200 troops to stay at Capitol Hill.

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About the Contributor
Photo of Chelsea Chang
Chelsea Chang, Staff Writer
Chelsea Chang is a junior and a Highlander editor at Carlmont High School. She believes it is important for people to stay updated on current events through the media and is currently on the COVID-19 coverage team.

Twitter: @chlseachng
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