El Paso

ONLY ON ABC-7: Local pediatrician volunteers time to screen migrant patients

Local pediatrician volunteers time to screen migrant patients

EL PASO, Texas - Dr. Carlos Gutierrez has been a pediatrician for 39 years. When he's not at his practice in Central El Paso, he's volunteering his time, screening migrants.

"A lot of them have upper respiratory infections, asthma. A few have pneumonia, fevers, high fevers. And we're seeing our share, our fair share of influenza and strep," Gutierrez said.

In the wake of the deaths of two migrant children in U.S. custody, Customs and Border Protection changed its policy to make sure that all children in custody receive a medical screening.

"We can see 15 to 25 today," Gutierrez said.

A local CBP spokesman tells ABC-7 more than 9,300 children who were being processed by U.S. Border Patrol agents working at stations in the El Paso Sector received screenings between December 1, 2018 and January 31, 2019. 

"I know there's -- politically -- people will say 'why are you going to take care of them? They're not U.S. citizens,'" Gutierrez said. "But dadgum, they're human beings. They are human beings and we as doctors are meant to treat our fellow human beings."

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