“Our hospitals have already been under siege by immigrants,” Paul said on July 2 on Newsmax TV’s The Steve Malzberg Show.
Dr. Paul, who is an obstetrician, spoke in response to the much-publicized crisis resulting from an estimated 60,000 children unaccompanied by parents or relatives who will pour into the United States this year — up from about 6,000 in 2011. Because most of these illegal immigrants are from the Central American nations of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, deporting them would be more complicated and expensive than sending illegal immigrants back to Mexico. Our government would have to charter planes to fly them back to their countries of origin. Many are, in fact, put on flights, but instead of being flown back home, they are sent to states other than Texas (where they were apprehended), especially to Arizona and California.
According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy, unaccompanied children who have crossed the border illegally are transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement to be housed in shelters, including those on military bases and elsewhere. Illegal immigrants who are adults are processed at Border Patrol stations for “supervised release” pending appearances in immigration court.
Many of the unaccompanied children being housed in federal facilities have been diagnosed with various communicable diseases, and some are sent to local hospitals for treatment. This naturally would cause hospitals near the facilities to become overwhelmed.
“And with these thousands, tens of thousands, who knows how many [children] ... you’re going to see some very serious health problems.... We’ve already overburdened many hospitals, Paul said to Malzberg during the interview.
“In the 19th century, when we had a massive influx of immigrants, we were still cautious about diseases.... Today, under these conditions, it just is essentially impossible to do this,” Paul added, referring to the massive, uncontrolled flow of illegal immigrants crossing our borders.
When 19th century immigrants entering our county legally were processed at Ellis Island and other immigration stations, doctors briefly examined them for signs of illness. About 20 percent were singled out for further medical examination and about one percent were sent back to their countries of origin. After 1924, immigrants had to receive a visa from a U.S. consular office abroad before being allowed to travel to the United States. A medical exam was a prerequisite for receiving a visa, and about five percent of those examined were refused visas.
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Photo of Ron Paul: AP Images