"Scandal": Migrants detained at the border aren't being given free flu vaccines

There exists an organization called Doctors for Camp Closure, consisting of people who are highly concerned with showing that they are not Donald Trump and that they are not anything like Donald Trump.

Doctors for Camp Closure managed to get their cause featured on ABC News. ABC spoke with Dr. Bonnie Arzuaga, a Boston-based pediatrician who is one of the organization's founders. Dr. Bonnie is alarmed because the approximately 3,500 people found in a U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility on any given day won't be provided free influenza vaccines.

Doctors for Camp Closure say they have been writing to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and haven't received any response. ABC News contacted the CBP, which responded with a statement noting that individuals are not supposed to be held in one of their border detention facilities for more than 72 hours.

The CBP explained that the concerned doctors were asking the government to go through an awful lot of trouble to provide special care for people who had just walked across the border without asking anyone for their permission. The CBP points out that they already provide medical services involving more than 250 nurse practitioners and physician assistants stationed along the southwestern U.S. border, then add:

To try and layer a comprehensive vaccinations system on to that would be logistically very challenging for a number of reasons. There's a system and process for implementing vaccines – for supply chains, for quality control, for documentation, for informed consent, for adverse reactions.

To ABC News, Bonnie Arzuaga responds by noting that infected individuals could be spreading the disease as they move between detention facilities. She adds that there is no requirement for CBP staff to receive the influenza vaccine. Officers who don't get flu shots can end up spreading the flu when they return home.

What's needed is a border wall

What Doctors for Camp Closure has succeeded in accomplishing, for those of us who grasp the homeland security issues involved, is to add new justification for the border wall project: Lack of border security creates a health risk in the nation's interior.

Having compassion for migrants exposed to disease is a very good trait, but that cannot be allowed to replace and nullify basic concern for homeland security. We cannot allow our own territory to be overrun, as our compassions overflow with concern for migrants who subjected themselves and their families to health risks of their own volition.


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