Thursday, August 3, 2023

Border Patrol has No Protocols for Assessing Health of Children with Preexisting Conditions, Report Says; Illegal Immigrant Kids with Tuberculosis Infections Released into 44 States

AP Photo/Andres Leighton, File
Border Patrol has no protocols for assessing health of children with preexisting conditions, report says
Border Patrol does not have protocols for assessing medical needs of children with preexisting conditions, according to an independent report made public Tuesday on the death of an 8-year-old girl from Panama who was in federal custody.
The girl’s death was "a preventable tragedy that resulted from" failures in "medical and custodial systems for children" within U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency that includes the Border Patrol, the report found.
It's the latest damning finding in the May 17 death of Anadith Danay Reyes Alvarez, who was on her ninth day in custody with family in Harlingen, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley, one of the busiest corridors for migrant crossings. She had a chronic heart condition and sickle cell anemia.
An internal investigation found Border Patrol medical staff declined to review the girl's file.
The report made public Tuesday was conducted by an independent monitor working to enforce compliance with the latest terms of the Flores settlement agreement, a measure created to bring child welfare protections to children in immigration custody.
"The failure to consult a physician or a local health facility for more extensive testing raises fundamental concerns regarding the ability of the CBP medical system to care appropriately for children at elevated medical risk," the report says.
CBP did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.
Mabel Alvarez Benedicks, the girl’s mother, told The Associated Press she reported her daughter's condition to officials when she and her family were being processed at the border, but officials failed to notify other staff at the time the family was taken to a second facility designated for families, a problem the monitor highlighted in a previous report to the court. --->READ MORE HERE
AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A., File
Illegal immigrant kids with tuberculosis infections released into 44 states:
The government is releasing thousands of illegal immigrant children with latent tuberculosis infections into American communities without assurances of treatment.
Nearly 2,500 children with latent infections were released into 44 states over the past year, according to a court-ordered report on how the Health and Human Services Department is treating the children.
About 126,000 total were released, indicating an infection rate of 1 in 50 migrant children.
The government says it can’t treat the children because they are in custody for a short time and treatment requires three to nine months. HHS releases infected children to sponsors and notifies local health authorities in the hope that they can arrange for treatment before the latent infection becomes active.
Those hopes are often dashed.
Local health officials say the notifications are infrequent and the child has often already arrived when they are told about a case in their jurisdiction.
“We do not know how often the sponsors follow through on treatment,” the Virginia Department of Health told The Washington Times in a statement. “By the time outreach takes place, the child has sometimes moved to another area or state.”
The Times reached out to HHS for this report.
The children in the department’s custody, known in government-speak as unaccompanied alien children, or UACs, are a particularly tricky population.
Under the law, Homeland Security must discharge most children quickly and send them to HHS. The department holds the children in government-contracted shelters while searching for sponsors to take in the children caught at the border without parents.
The system is fraught with problems, including crowded shelters and struggles to find capable and conscientious sponsors. In thousands of cases, the government quickly loses track of the children. --->READ MORE HERE
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