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Retirees living in Mexico worry about possible border plans aimed at COVID-19

Posted at 4:56 PM, Aug 11, 2020

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Concerns continue to grow amid reports that President Trump may allow border officials to ban US citizens suspected of having coronavirus from re-entering the country.

Five years ago, Les and Marilyn Widd retired and made a big move, buying an oceanfront home in Rosarito, Mexico. That dream retirement has suddenly been marred by worries about COVID-19 and a possible presidential action.

According to published reports, President Trump is weighing rules to allow border officials to temporarily block an American citizen or legal permanent resident from entering, if there is reason to believe the person has coronavirus.

"Absolutely upsetting, absolutely upsetting," said Les Widd, 70.

Details about the possible plan are unknown, but Widd has heard enough.

"It's violating your constitutional rights to receive treatment in your own country," said Widd.

Widd says if either of them were to develop symptoms, they would have few options. Their hospital in Rosarito isn't accepting COVID-19 patients.

"In Tijuana hospitals, they are absorbing everything from surrounding towns. They're at the limit. Difficult to get a bed there," said Widd.

Both the Widds have go-to hospitals in San Diego where they've received past treatments. Both are covered under Medicare, and they say they have a right to use it, especially during a pandemic.

"We worked all of our lives and paid into it. We should be able to use our Medicare," said Widd.

He also questions how effective a border ban would be.

"If push comes to shove, I will try any way possible to get over the border ... People will lie about their condition to get across the border," said Widd.

Various estimates place the number of Americans living in Rosarito between 12,000 and 15,000 people.