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EXCLUSIVE: Illegal Immigrant with Drug-Resistant TB to Be Released into US, say Congressional Leaders

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On Friday, Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, along with Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) and Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), sent a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson and ICE Deputy Assistant Secretary Saldaña warning them not to release an illegal immigrant with drug-resistant tuberculosis into the general public.

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“I was alarmed when I was forwarded a letter written by Pinal County Director of Public Health Thomas Schryer indicating that the ICE Detention facility in Florence is planning on releasing an illegal immigrant with drug resistant tuberculosis into the Pinal County Community in the next couple days,” Gosar said in a statement. “I demand ICE and DHS rethink this awful decision and not release this dangerous individual. Such actions put our citizens at risk and will impose significant financial burdens on the County.”

Dr. Thomas Schryer, Director of Public Health for Pinal County, wrote a letter explaining his concerns about releasing the detained illegal immigrant, who has been receiving treatment for seven months for his tuberculosis. “Tuberculosis is a very dangerous disease that can spread easily, due to the public health threat Arizona Revised Statutes and good public health practice dictates that we provide healthcare to treat tuberculosis for anyone residing in our county (other than those incarcerated) as a result when the ICE facility releases this individual he will be treated at the local tax payers’ expense,” he stated. “From a public health perspective it is essential that anyone who is suffering from TB be treated so they are not a health threat to others, I request that ICE pay the costs of those who are released from their facility.”

The full text of Dr. Schryer’s letter and the letter from Gosar, McCain, Flake, and Kirkpatrick can be read below.

Dr. Schryer letter

FINAL Letter to ICE and DHS re Illegal Immigrant with TB in Florence Facility.docx

Noah Dulis and Bob Price contributed to this report.

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