Illegal immigrant kids exposed federal agents to lice, scabies, tuberculosis and chicken pox, report says

Unaccompanied illegal immigrant children with communicable diseases have given or exposed federal agents to lice, scabies, tuberculosis and chicken pox, according to a report issued Thursday by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General.

In two cases, the children of a border patrol agent got chicken pox contracted from their parents’ exposure to unaccompanied children with chicken pox, according to the report on conditions of detention centers and border facilities.

The report, the first in a series, is based on 87 unannounced visits to 63 detention centers being used to house unaccompanied alien children (UAC) in Texas, Arizona and California during July 1-16.

“Many UAC and family units require treatment for communicable diseases, including respiratory illnesses, tuberculosis, chicken pox, and scabies,” said the memorandum summarizing the report.

“UAC and family unit illnesses and unfamiliarity with bathroom facilities resulted in unsanitary conditions and exposure to human waste in some holding facilities.

“DHS employees reported exposure to communicable diseases and becoming sick on duty. For example, during a recent site visit to the Del Rio USBP Station and Del Rio Port of Entry, CBP personnel reported contracting scabies, lice, and chicken pox.

“Two CBP Officers reported that their children were diagnosed with chicken pox within days of the CBP Officers' contact with a UAC who had chicken pox. In addition, USBP personnel at the Clint Station and Santa Teresa Station reported that they were potentially exposed to tuberculosis.”

Sources previously told of multiple instances in which Border Patrol agents were exposed to tuberculosis—and one instance in which an agent contracted a severe case of tuberculosis from illegal immigrants in his care.

Other sources told that swine flu has been found at several detention centers in Texas.

According to the OIG report, one of the detention centers being used to house unaccompanied children did not have a trained medical tech on site and four did not provide detainees access to prescription medication.

OIG agents checked the sites for sanitation, availability of medical care, food services and other factors. Sites and their staff were found to be largely in compliance with rules and regulations.

The memo also reveals that DHS OIG is investigating a June 11 complaint to DHS Officer for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and DHS OIG filed by the ACLU on behalf of 116 unaccompanied alien children.

The office currently is investigating 16 of those allegations while separate offices are investigating the others.

During their detention site visits, OIG agents did not observe misconduct or inappropriate conduct by DHS employees nor did they receive new complaints from any of the randomly interviewed unaccompanied children.

The OIG also found that the data system used by CBP to comply with the required documentation of the arrests and care and release of unaccompanied children was unreliable because of frequent system outages causing inconsistent reporting.

CBP’s data system is supposed to be used to track compliance with guidelines including meal times per day, phone usage, detainee medical conditions and detainee arrests and releases from CBP custody.

OIG recommended Immigration and Customs Enforcement  find the resources needed to fix the system.