An Oklahoma legislator has requested state officialdom take immediate responsibility for its citizens’ health by requiring sick illegal immigrants housed at the Fort Sill military base to be placed in quarantine.
On Monday Rep. Mike Ritze, a Republican member of the Okla. House of Representatives who also works as a physician, expressed concerns over reports of diseases being spread at various detention facilities across the country.
“As a physician, the chairman of Public Safety A&B, and a citizen of Oklahoma, I am concerned about the possibility of communicable diseases being carried by a population that does not have the same vaccination requirements as in the U.S.,” Ritze wrote in a letter to Governor Mary Fallin and others.
Dr. Ritze says he knows from direct experience that some of the illegal aliens breaching the southern border are harboring communicable diseases.
“I’ve seen them in my practice,” Dr. Ritze told NewsChannel 4, “(with) sexually transmitted diseases, scabies, fleas, diseases I haven’t seen since I was in the military in southeast Asia.”
Ritze’s letter asks Oklahoma state officials to “…Please ensure the citizens of Oklahoma are protected by holding the illegal immigrants until a determination can be made that there are no communicable diseases that they are potentially carrying that could harm the state.”
Officially, Fort Sill is one of three Army bases repurposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to process and detain some 50,000 illegal immigrant minors. Unofficially, watchdog group Judicial Watch has revealed another Army base, Ft. Bliss in El Paso, was covertly being used as a processing center.
Other health professionals, such as practicing physician Dr. Elizabeth Vliet, have echoed Ritze’s calls for the federal government to act faster to protect citizens from emerging diseases, such as H1N1 swine flu, tuberculosis, scabies and chicken pox.
“These diseases are highly contagious, especially in crowded and poor sanitary conditions in the detention and processing centers where thousands of illegals are housed until sent to other areas of America, without full screening for such diseases,” Dr. Vliet wrote last month.
Numerous border patrol agents have contracted scabies, bacterial pneumonia and other diseases from being exposed to sick individuals, and reports suggest the influx may also potentially bring deadly diseases such as dengue, HIV and the incurable ebola virus.
But the governmental health agency in charge of “disease prevention and control,” the CDC, has brushed off concerns, instead issuing a statement claiming it “does not believe the children arriving at U.S. borders pose a public health risk to the general public or U.S. communities.” Meanwhile, they have activated their “Emergency Operation Center,” and according to Dr. Vliet, may also have a “temporary decontamination center set up in El Paso, Texas, similar to those in use in West Africa..”
If Rep. Ritze’s request for quarantine comes to fruition, hopefully the facility will be better equipped than processing centers in south Texas.
Indeed, the vice president of one south Texas Border Patrol union revealed their facilities are so ill-equipped that so-called quarantine zones, meant to separate sick illegals from the rest of the group, do little to keep anyone safe.
“The quarantine area is nothing more than a piece of yellow caution tape,” Cabrera said. “Do not cross this line, if you cross this line, this is where the people with scabies are, the people with chicken pox, or whatever. So there really is no barrier between one and the other.”