Central American immigrants being medically evaluated at local hospitals

Immigrants being medically evaluated at local hospitals

EL PASO, Texas - El Paso hospitals are medically evaluating the influx of Central American immigrants before they can be transferred to detention centers.

University Medical Center, Las Palmas Medical Center and Del Sol Medical Center have been checking out migrants apprehended in south Texas by Border Patrol, and sent to the Sun City for processing. If any of the detainees require further medical treatment than Border Patrol paramedics can provide, they go to local hospitals to be evaluated.

A UMC spokeswoman said migrants must be medically cleared before they can be released to detention centers.
"UMC provided medical evaluations to 11 border patrol detainees Sunday. All were treated for minor maladies and released back to border patrol officials. We're told that a bus load of immigrants will be transported to El Paso from the south Texas border every day for the next three weeks," an e-mailed statement from Margaret Althoff-Olivas read.

So many women and children from Central America are crossing the Texas-Mexico border, immigration authorities began sending the overflow to other parts of the U.S. for processing, including far west Texas and Arizona.

A spokesperson with Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare said Las Palmas has been seeing 5-10 patients a day since last week. Del Sol has seen a total of 24 so far. Both hospitals have seen confirmed cases of lice and scabies, but none of those seen have had to be admitted.

El Paso Sector Border Patrol spokesman Ramiro Cordero said federal funds from a program named MedPAR are used to pay for the exams, and hospitals are chosen by availability.

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