Public Health, School Officials Describe Immigration Enforcement Tensions

December 07, 2017

Public health, school officials and politicians from different regions of the U.S.-Mexico border said Wednesday that immigrants in their communities have been adversely affected by immigration policies implemented by President Donald Trump’s administration. 

The event was hosted by Democrats from liberal voting areas along the U.S.-Mexico border, former Homeland Security border officials and lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union. 

Among the complaints: a harder undocumented immigration stance is driving people away from receiving medical care.

"This means children are not being vaccinated for life threatening conditions, they’re not being screened for important and developmental risks and they’re not being treated for their chronic health conditions," said Dr. Kimberly Avila Edwards with the Texas Pediatrics Society.

Dr. Greg Ewing is superintendent of schools in Las Cruces, New Mexico. 

"Within my schools on a daily basis, I have to reassure students that it’s okay to come to school, that nobody will harm you in a school building, that a school building is considered a sensitive location," he said.

The roundtable came days after the Homeland Security Department released its annual statistics, showing that border-related arrests fell but arrests of those living within the country surged by 25 percent.