They’re coming (illegally) to America—and they’re bringing TB, flu, parasites and all kinds of diseases with them. Thousands of illegal aliens are attempting to illegally cross our southern border from Mexico. Many of them are very ill. Is President Trump responsible for the deaths of people with serious illnesses who make it across our border? If they’re able to sneak across our border, should American taxpayers be on the hook for their healthcare costs? What about the pregnant women who successfully make it across our border? Should American citizens be responsible for the cost to birth their children, who then become citizens?
According to the Washington Times – Border authorities are referring 50 people a day for urgent medical care, including tuberculosis, flu and even pregnant women about to give birth, a top official said Monday, saying it’s unlike anything they’ve ever seen before.
Most of those in need of care are children, and a staggering 28 percent are under age 5, having been dragged along for the trip by parents who in many cases are hoping to use the children as a shield against speedy deportation from the U.S.
The numbers were released after a full review was done of all children in the custody of Customs and Border Protection in the wake of two illegal-immigrant children who died in U.S. hospitals in December.
CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said most of those needing help were ill when they arrived at the border, and some appear to have made the initial decision to leave even while ailing.
“Many were ill before they departed their homes,” the commissioner said. “We’re talking about cases of pneumonia, tuberculosis, parasites. These are not things that developed urgently in a matter of days.”
Agents have spotted a new trend in the traffic from Central America to the U.S., with smuggling organizations using commercial buses to get people through the journey in less than a week. That’s far faster than the 25 to 30 days it takes most migrants who walk or take a mixture of transportation to get from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras through Mexico and to the border.
Mr. McAleenan said the commercial buses are also delivering migrants to parts of the border such as western Texas and New Mexico that have traditionally been less afflicted by the flow of immigrants crossing into the U.S. illegally.
The faster trip also makes it easier for sick people to come, and provides “confidence for parents to bring younger children” along as well, he said.
The deaths of a 7-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy in CBP custody in December have drawn fierce criticism, with some Democrats and a number of immigrant-rights groups saying the agency has blood on its hands.
The girl arrived with her father as part of a group of more than 160 people at a remote part of the border in New Mexico, hours from the nearest Border Patrol station. Her father at first told agents she was healthy, but later alerted them when she began to vomit and then lose consciousness.
Agents revived her twice and she was flown by air ambulance to a hospital where she later died after suffering major organ failure.
The boy died Christmas Eve after six days in CBP custody, having been transferred to multiple facilities because of overcrowding due to the new surge of people.
His initial illness was diagnosed at a hospital as a common cold, then he was deemed to have a fever. He was treated and released, but hours later, back at a border holding facility, he vomited.
His father declined medical attention, but an agent during a later welfare check said the boy looked ill and had him taken back to the hospital, where he died.
The boy’s mother, back in Guatemala, told Reuters news agency they had been told by neighbors that if he brought the child, the father would get more lenient treatment by U.S. authorities and would be quickly released into the U.S. where he could disappear into the shadows, live in the U.S. illegally and find work.
According to the Spectator, the cost of the border wall has been projected by numerous entities, and the estimates vary wildly. The Trump administration and the GOP congressional leadership have estimated its cost at $12 billion to $15 billion. Senate Democrats claim that the price tag would be $67 billion. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has projected the cost at $21.6 billion. Going with the Trump administration figure, the savings to our health care system should pay for the thing in a decade. Using the DHS figure, it will take far less time than a typical mortgage. Specifically, about 20 years.
This depends on what we pay for the health care we provide to illegal immigrants and how many will be stopped by the wall. Neither of these figures is easy to calculate, but it’s clear that most estimates we see in the media understate both. To hit the payoff goals noted above we would need to stop 500,000 people per year from illegally entering the country and eliminate an equal number from the Medicaid and Obamacare rolls. That would save $1.3 billion annually in medical costs. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, we spend nearly twice that on illegal aliens for emergency Medicaid alone:
Federal law generally bars illegal immigrants from being covered by Medicaid. But a little-known part of the state-federal health insurance program for the poor has long paid about $2 billion a year for emergency treatment for a group of patients who, according to hospitals, mostly comprise illegal immigrants.
Most of this money pays for delivering babies when patients materialize in emergency rooms in active labor. Pursuant to the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), all hospitals must provide emergency medical treatment to all comers regardless of ability to pay or any other consideration. It is common for women of obviously foreign descent and no English to appear in ERs just as they are about to give birth. Hospitals cannot turn them away (and wouldn’t do so if they could). Medicaid retroactively covers them and pays some of the treatment costs.