Border Wall Workers and COVID-19

by | Apr 1, 2020

Sent 3.31.20 to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich

All in NM are being asked to stay at home and practice social distancing. Yet about 40 workers are being brought into Columbus (from who knows where) to work on the border wall. 10 trailers with 4 “apartments” each have been crammed into the vacant lot behind the library (so much for social distancing). These trailers will use our already stretched water and sewer systems. And the workers will crowd our stores.

These 40 workers could be bringing COVID-19 with them. The Pancho Villa State Park is closed; out-of-staters don’t come and potentially bring COVID-19 with them. Good. What about these workers? If they are from out-of-state, will they be put in quarantine as people from other states are? How can they, given their living conditions, practice social distancing? Their jobs require them to defy the stay-at-home order. Surely, these are not “essential” jobs that must be performed to sustain life. And the timing surely need not be immediate; the border with Mexico is closed.

It seems to me bringing in these workers counters everything you and the people of NM have been trying to do to slow the spread of COVID-19. I felt safe here. I no longer do.

Sherry Reynolds