Pima County: Undocumented minors do not pose health threat - Tucson News Now

Pima County: Undocumented minors do not pose health threat

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A report to Pima County supervisors says undocumented immigrant children passing through Tucson do not pose a public health threat.

The report is an analysis by Pima County Health Director Dr. Francisco Garcia, who reviewed the screening process in connection with the current influx of immigrant children across the border.  He writes in his assessment: "At this time, I have insufficient information to fully assess the extent of the potential public health threat posed by the families in transit; however, I believe the risk is low. This assessment is based on the fact that the individuals involved are undergoing screening by trained CBP staff to identify any acute or obvious medical problem, the very low numbers of individuals transiting through the County, and the very transient nature of their stay."

Dr. Garcia says the Health Department continues to monitor the situation closely.  

Those who have worked with immigrant children in other areas have warned about diseases or health problems.  At least three children being held at detention facilities in Texas have tested positive for H1N1.  National Review reports a Border Patrol agent contracted pneumonia from an illegal immigrant, according to a Border Patrol union.  Fox News reports doctors and nurses offering treatments to immigrants along the border have been warned not to talk to reporters.

According to Dr. Garcia, his analysis is based on his "understanding of the current screening process; the low number of unaccompanied minors in this jurisdiction today; and an understanding of the function and operation of the local contracted shelter facility with regard to medical care, education and restriction of movement of the minors."

You can read his full report here.

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