Things That Matter

A Group Of Doctors Offered To Provide Detained Migrants Free Flu Shots But The US Government Said No

The weather is growing colder, the days are growing shorter, and flu season has started to rear its ugly head. As usual, the government is encouraging anyone older than six months to get the vaccine, but one population is actually being denied flu shots.

Thousands of people are still detained at Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facilities for undocumented entry, and so far, none of them have had access to the influenza vaccine.

Credit: Fort George G. Meade Public Affairs Office / Flickr

A few months ago, CBP camps were dismally overcrowded—they are still seeing an average of 3,500 people in custody each day, but that number has decreased substantially from a daily average of 20,000 migrants earlier this year (from January through July, over 600,000 migrants were detained after attempting to cross the border). Nevertheless, the conditions of the CBP sites (cramped quarters, limited access to hygienic facilities, etc.) make a perfect breeding ground for viruses, yet CBP officials have claimed that it would be too difficult to implement a vaccine program within their current infrastructure, which includes a staff of more than 250 medical personnel.

“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,” the CBP said in a statement. They also said that this policy has been in place for some time, largely due to the fact that their “typical” processing time of 72 hours doesn’t warrant the need for interventions like vaccination. Of course, most of the people being held at CBP facilities have been there much longer than three days.

On top of not vaccinating the thousands of people in their custody, CBP does not require their staff to get a flu shot—a policy that could not only perpetuate the virus in CBP facilities but could also put their own families at risk.

Credit: customsborder / Instagram

“CBP officers could be shedding the virus. You are adding a whole other layer to what is basic medical neglect,” said Dr. Bonnie Arzuaga, a pediatrician based in Boston who also founded Doctors for Camp Closure. “In every other institutionalized setting—hospitals, schools, long term healthcare facilities—staff are required to get the flu shot.” The influenza vaccine is essential in institutionalized settings because of its incredibly high contagion rate. According to the CDC, the flu is contagious up to 24 hours before someone develops symptoms and up to a week afterward.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University and a longtime adviser to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged that this year, the flu has started early and is already wreaking havoc all over the country. Dr. Jennifer Shu, an Atlanta-based pediatrician, noted that many of her patients hadn’t even had a chance to get their flu shots before getting infected. “This year, I had children testing positive for the flu in early October,” said Shu. “We don’t usually see flu that early in the year.” So far, of the main circulating strains is Influenza B, which has a propensity to hit children especially hard.

As many as 61,200 adults and 143 children died from complications of the flu illness in the 2018-2019 flu season. Three of those children died of the flu while in CBP custody.

Credit: customsborder / Instagram

To combat CBP’s negligence and prevent further deaths of the individuals in their care, Arzuaga’s Doctors for Camp Closure volunteered to provide free vaccinations to people in CBP’s care. The group formed in August of this year and is comprised of around 2,000 physician members, many of whom signed a letter to federal officials offering this vaccination service. The physicians stated that they initially planned to vaccinate 100 migrants, ultimately hoping to vaccinate the majority of the people currently detained.

The doctors with Doctors for Camp Closure confirmed that of 200,000 children in federal custody last year, the three deaths mentioned above, which were attributed to complications from influenza, are nine times higher than the expected child death rate from the flu. “In our professional medical opinion, this alarming mortality rate constitutes an emergency which threatens the safety of human lives, particularly children,” says the Doctors for Camp Closure letter.

The CBP ultimately dismissed this letter and the physicians’ offer to administer free vaccines. Kelly Cahalan, CBP spokesperson, told The Post that her agency has never provided immunizations for detained migrants and has no plans to do so. And a representative told CNN, “We haven’t responded [to the letter], but it’s not likely to happen.”

READ: Three Migrants Kids Died Of Flu-Related Illness, Now The Trump Administration Is Refusing To Administer The Vaccine

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The Man Who Created ICE Is Now Releasing A Book To Honor Immigrants

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The Man Who Created ICE Is Now Releasing A Book To Honor Immigrants

George Bush Presidential Center

The 43rd president, the man who literally helped create Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is now releasing a book meant to honor immigrants to the U.S. Cue the massive eye rolls.

As president, Bush oversaw a massive expansion of the country’s deportation apparatus and his policies directly impacted the lives of millions of people in the United States, with and without documents.

So it was no surprise that as Bush announced the new book, social media was quick to point out the blatant hypocrisy and tone deaf messaging the former president is sending. It’s all nice and good that he may have had a change of heart on immigration – particularly after seeing the destructive policies of the current president – but many are pointing out Bush will be making potentially millions of dollars of the backs of the very people he once demonized.

George Bush is releasing a book highlighting stories of immigrants to the U.S.

A new book by former President George W. Bush will highlight an issue which now sets him apart from many of his fellow Republicans — immigration.

The book includes 43 portraits by the 43rd president, four-color paintings of immigrants he has come to know over the years, along with biographical essays he wrote about each of them.

“While I recognize that immigration can be an emotional issue, I reject the premise that it is a partisan issue. It is perhaps the most American of issues, and it should be one that unites us,” Bush writes in the new book’s introduction, noting that he did not want it to come out during the election season. Bush has not endorsed Trump or his presumptive Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

“My hope is that this book will help focus our collective attention on the positive impacts that immigrants are making on our country.”

The book will serve as a companion to an upcoming exhibition at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.

Credit: Penguin Random House

“Both ‘Out of Many, One’ and the exhibition of the same name will include bold, principle-based solutions that comprehensively address the current debate on immigration,” according to Crown. “At the heart of the recommendations is the belief that every year that passes without reforming the nation’s broken system means missed opportunities to ensure the future prosperity, vitality, and security of our country.”

Bush has become a dedicated portrait painter and best-selling author since leaving the White House. His memoir “Decision Points” has sold more than 3 million copies, and his other books include “41,” about his father, former President George H.W. Bush; and a collection of paintings of military veterans, “Portraits of Courage.”

He will donate a portion of his “Out Of Many, One” proceeds to organizations that help immigrants resettle.

Although he may be friends with the Obamas, Bush has a terrible record on immigration.

Credit: Tom Pennington / Getty Images

Apart from Donald Trump, few presidents were as intertwined with immigration than George Bush, which has led to swift blowback on social media. Critics have been quick to point out the blatant hypocrisy with the president’s new series, since his administration created US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, more commonly known as ICE, which has cracked down harshly on undocumented immigration under Trump.  

And although Bush has on occasion criticized the state of immigration policies under Trump, it doesn’t make up for his hurtful policies as president.

In 2018, on the day after the Trump administration issued guidance for asylum seekers at the border that threatened thousands of individuals with being turned away before they could plead their cases in court, Bush said he was “disturbed” by the immigration debate taking place in the United States. Bush has also praised the nation’s immigrant history as “a blessing” while calling for comprehensive reform.

Bush’s own record on immigration isn’t totally black and white either. Many point out that the former president did introduce a bill that would have included a pathway to citizenship for 17 million immigrants in the U.S. However, the bill was defeated with bipartisan support because many Democrats felt it didn’t offer enough protections and many Republicans said it was illegal amnesty.

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This Man Was Robbed Of His Life Savings Just Minutes After Leaving The Bank

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This Man Was Robbed Of His Life Savings Just Minutes After Leaving The Bank

@naninizhoni / Twitter

Imagine having worked your life to provide a better future for your family only to have it stolen from you in a brazen attack. That’s exactly what happened to one immigrant man who had taken out his life savings from a Chase Bank when we was brutally attacked and robbed of more than $200,000 in cash.

The attack was caught on video and police are searching for the suspect. Meanwhile, the victim and his family are asking for help as the money was being used to support family across Mexico and El Salvador and to help put a child through graduate school.

A man has lost his life savings after being attacked and robbed outside a Chase Bank.

Police are searching for a suspect after a man was robbed of his life savings outside a Chase Bank. In Huntington Park, California, Francisco Cornejo had taken out $200,000 from the bank following the recent sale of his home, when an unknown assailant grabbed his satchel and ran away. 

Cornejo fell to the ground as a result, video taken by a bystander showed. The assailant’s face could not be seen in the video, but he was wearing a black hoodie.

“Within 30 seconds of just getting to his car, he was grabbed, beaten, robbed, and they took everything from him,” Cornejo’s attorney, Nathan Soleimani, told KTLA.

“He was parked as closely as possible to the bank, knowing he was going to withdraw a large amount of cash. As soon as he got to his car, before he was able to get to his car, he was grabbed and beaten,” attorney Nathan Soleimani said.

A family man, Cornejo had withdrawn the cash for the well-being of his loved ones, Soleimani said, adding that the family has no idea who would attack and rob his client. 

His daughter said her unemployed parents needed the money to “get through” the coronavirus pandemic, to support her 94-year-old grandmother, pay for her sister’s graduate school tuition and send funds to loved ones in Mexico and El Salvador. 

“This money was hard-earned and as a result of years and years of work,” she said. 

Cornejo was left severely injured and suffered a very traumatic experience.

In Spanish, Cornejo told KTLA that the entire experience and robbery were “traumatic.” And he suffered the injuries to prove it.

Cornejo was left with significant bruises on his side and arm, and his shoulder was dislocated. He also suffered severe trauma to the head, his daughter said in a GoFundMe page created to help with hospital expenses. 

“He never expected such an atrocious attack,” the daughter said. “Bystanders attest that my dad was fighting with all of his will. My father was dragged by the criminal as they both fought for the bag.”

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time this has happened – even in the past month.

Crime has recently started rising in big cities – especially crimes targeting immigrants. A recent story out of San Francisco is very similar to what happened to Cornejo. A senior couple, who came to the U.S. nearly 40 years ago, was left heartbroken after their life savings was taken from them in a brazen daytime burglary that was caught on camera.

Simon Zhong recalls the moment he learned two men forced their way inside his parent’s Crocker Amazon home. Stunning surveillance video from outside and inside the home, shows how the men used a crowbar to pry open a back door and enter while Simon’s parents were out.

His parents, immigrants from China, spent more than 35 years working in construction and housekeeping.

“My parents actually grew up really poor in China,” he said. “They actually borrowed money to come over to America and they worked every single day of their life.”

Not trusting the banking system, his dad kept their entire life savings, in cash, in a safe, only for it to disappear in less than 15 minutes. A senior law enforcement official who didn’t want to be identified confirmed Asian American families are often targets for criminals because they keep cash in their homes.

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