Feds Bend CDC Rules for Sick Illegal Immigrants
HOUSTON, Texas -- Individuals and families immigrating to the U.S. legally are required to pay for and undergo medical examinations by approved physicians; those who are deemed as having "inadmissible health-related conditions" are not allowed into the country. But the same standards are not applied to illegal immigrants, many of whom remain in the U.S. despite testing positive for diseases that would prevent law-abiding migrants from entering.
The current border crisis has involved tens of thousands of Central Americans entering the U.S. illegally. Some of these individuals have tested positive for illnesses including tuberculosis, chicken pox, and other viruses--despite this, most of them are not immediately deported. Rather, they stay and receive medical care subsidized by U.S. taxpayers.
Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet--a preventive medicine physician, the former Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, and a recipient of a 2014 Ellis Island Medal of Honor--told Breitbart Texas, "Legal immigrants are required to pay for medical exams and screening tests conducted by approved physicians before they arrive here. They're not arriving in the U.S. carrying diseases, and then being dispersed into cities across the nation."
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all legal immigrants must be screened and approved before entering the U.S. The agency states on its website, "The health-related grounds for inadmissibility include persons who have a communicable disease of public health significance, who fail to present documentation of having received vaccination against vaccine-preventable diseases, who have or have had a physical or mental disorder with associated harmful behavior, or who are a drug abuser or an addict."
But the same rules apparently do not apply to illegal immigrants.
According to Vliet, "vaccine-preventable" diseases include chicken pox, an infection common among the new wave of Latin American illegal immigrants.
So, while a prospective legal immigrant who has not been vaccinated for chicken pox would be barred from entering the U.S., unvaccinated individuals who enter the country illegally are being allowed to stay. "The CDC's own guidelines are clearly being violated with regards to the illegal immigrants currently crossing the border," Vliet stated.
The CDC website also claims that tuberculosis (TB) is a "disease of public health significance" that "would cause an applicant to fail a medical examination or be inadmissible" to the U.S.
TB has also been identified within the illegal immigrant population; the TB-infected individuals remain in the U.S. and receive subsidized medical treatment.
In some cases, Border Patrol agents and other Department of Homeland Security (DHS) staff have contracted diseases from infected migrants--many of whom are unaccompanied alien children (UAC)--in the U.S. illegally.
A DHS report issued last week stated, "Many UAC and family units require treatment for communicable diseases, including respiratory illnesses, tuberculosis, chicken pox, and scabies. DHS employees reported exposure to communicable diseases and becoming sick on duty. ... Two CBP Officers reported that their children were diagnosed with chicken pox within days of the CBP Officers' contact with a UAC who had chicken pox."
Agents have also been exposed to TB by the migrant population, according to the DHS report. Fox News recently reported that at least one Border Patrol agent contracted a "severe" case of TB from infected illegal immigrants who he was caring for.
Many feel that by allowing infected illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. and receive free healthcare, they are being given preference over those who follow the rules by attempting to enter the U.S. legally.
"It's not who we are as a nation to break our own laws and give preference to those who do," Vliet stated. "In this case, those who follow the law have to pay."
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.