‘The biggest concern that I’ve heard about is not that they’re disease-ridden, but the fact that they don’t vaccinate…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) As thousands of sick migrants continue to flood the U.S.–Mexico border, border-patrol agents are scrambling to secure medical attention for asylum seekers.
Since Oct. 1, 2018, border-patrol agents have spent nearly 20,000 hours driving immigrants to and from hospitals and medical centers, according to new data from the Department of Homeland Security.
There has been a significant “increase in the numbers of apprehended individuals requiring medical assistance,” the DHS said.
More than 2,000 migrants from Central America were hospitalized due to health issues that required a hospital in the last month alone, Customs and Border Protection said in a statement.
Among those, the Associated Press reported Friday, was a man diagnosed with flesh-eating bacteria on his leg, requiring extensive medical attention.
This spike in illnesses has forced CBP officers and border-patrol agents to spend less time watching for serious threats and enforcing the law.
It has also negatively affected the local communities that must provide for and house these migrants.
Hospitals continue to fill up, and many are already severely short-staffed.
Hidalgo County, the southernmost district in New Mexico, has less than 5,000 residents that each make around $32,000 a year. County officials told the Washington Examiner that groups of migrants, from 100 to 300 people each, are dropped off in Hidalgo every week. Many of them are sick and in need of professional care, but the county’s residents simply can’t afford to provide for the massive influx.
“For a while there, we were being called every day. [Border Patrol] wanted us to do their screening because they had a lack of medical personnel,” said Hidalgo County Emergency Medical Services Director David Whipple.
“They’ve had big issues with scabies,” Whipple continued. “That’s an ongoing thing.”
County manager Tisha Green had to reach out to state and border representatives in December when the problem continued to get out of control.
“The biggest concern that I’ve heard about is not that they’re disease-ridden, but the fact that they don’t vaccinate. I mean, it would become a county epidemic,” Green said.
“The comment was made that a good 20 of the immigrants walked in with border patrol and all of the local residents that were there waiting for appointments were kind of pushed to the side, and several of the people got up and left because they didn’t want to be around any type of illness they could be bringing in.”