The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reportedly sent illegal immigrant children with communicable diseases on planes to sites around the country that are being forced to house them.
According to an ABC News report, HHS has admitted to “a breakdown of the medical screening processes” at an Arizona facility. While the illegal immigrant children were clear of symptoms during their initial screenings, they were not “re-screened and cleared for travel and placement at a temporary shelter.”
Children with fevers and pneumonia have been flown from Arizona to California, where they had to be hospitalized. Three other children are reportedly “in the ICU at local hospitals in California.” And a “Ventura Naval Base suffered an outbreak of pneumonia and influenza among the unaccompanied minors inside the shelter” after illegal immigrant children with fevers, chicken pox, and the coxsackie virus were put on planes to the facility. In Texas, there have been at least two cases of swine flu confirmed.
Officials are also reportedly “fearing that they and their teams who come in contact with the sick children face potential exposure to infectious diseases from chicken pox to influenza, including rare cases of H1N1, more commonly called swine flu.”
Under a 2008 law, illegal immigrant children from countries other than Mexico must be turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services, usually within 72 hours. They are then given “notices to appear” in court and can remain in the country for years, if they show up to court at all, as their cases are resolved.
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) have sponsored legislation that would change that law so that illegal immigrants from countries other than Mexico and Canada can be immediately deported. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus have indicated they would not support legislation that changes the law without giving illegal immigrants more due process.
Residents from Maryland to California have been protesting, with more success, the federal government’s attempts to dump illegal immigrant children in their respective communities.