Local

Border Health Conference To Look At Impact Of Transient Diseases

By Joe Gomez | KRLD
A health worker gives a physical exam to a Mexican immigrant (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

A health worker gives a physical exam to a Mexican immigrant (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON D.C. (KRLD) – The influx of illegal immigrants will be the top issue addressed during the 9th Annual Border Health Conference in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.

“We’ll talk about undocumented immigration, who’s responsible for care. Border security, and we’re going to have a series of members of congress and doctors and other experts that are going to be coming in,” said Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo)

Congressman Cuellar will be leading the conference, which will also feature Dr. Austin King, the president of the Texas Medical Association. Cuellar says they’ll be looking at different ways to provide and afford health care for the illegal immigrants crossing into Texas.

“If a child is placed in Health and Human Services, then of course they provide the care at that time until they’re delivered to their parents or whoever’s going to take care of them,” says Cuellar. “If it’s a mother with kids, they drop them off at a bus station. In Laredo, they’ve been dropping off about 250 people a day and so that mother and that child can go anywhere. They either go to Dallas or go to Washington D.C. or New York.”

Cuellar goes onto say that many of the illegal immigrants can go to any clinic in the U.S.

“Once they’re released to a family member or someone in the U.S., then at that time that family member can take them anywhere — a clinic, a hospital, a doctor — somewhere in the United States.”

The impact of transient diseases will also be looked at and whether or not they pose a greater risk to the public.

“Hopefully they don’t expose our healthy children to diseases that have been eliminated on our side of the border,” says Dr. Linda Virreal, who works in the Rio Grande Valley. “In fact, we’ve already been issued a measles alert for this season, so it is an urgent problem that is being addressed as best as possible by voluntary physicians along the Texas border and by the health department.”

You can follow Joe Gomez on Twitter at @JoeGomezKRLD.

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