Disease Plagues Illegal Immigrants; Basic Hygiene, Lack of Medications Blamed

Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, October 6, 2014

Communicable diseases continue to be a problem at the New Mexico facility built to house illegal immigrant families surging across the U.S.-Mexico border, and the immigrants themselves aren’t taking their own health care very seriously, according to an audit released Monday.

While the Border Patrol is doing a good job of handling the surge of illegal immigrant children traveling alone without their parents, the families who are being housed at a special facility continue to have health problems and trouble using the bathroom, the Homeland Security inspector general said.

“Family unit illnesses and unfamiliarity with bathroom facilities continued to result in unsanitary conditions,” Inspector General John Roth wrote in a memo to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

Mr. Roth said the illnesses–which put the facility in Artesia, New Mexico, on lockdown earlier this year, preventing any immigrants from being transferred in or out–have proved to be a continuing problem.

Part of the issue is the immigrants themselves, some of whom have never seen a doctor before, don’t follow up afterward, either for themselves or their children.

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