A government official warned employees deploying for the influx of illegal immigrant minors about health and safety risks because the new arrivals would have tuberculosis and some were young adults—not children—like the Obama administration proclaimed, according to records obtained by Judicial Watch. “We might as well plan on many of the kids having TB,” states a June 26, 2014 guidance e-mail from a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) environmental health scientist, Alaric C. Denton, as the agency prepared to handle the crisis. “Most of these kids are not immunized, so we need to make sure all our staff are immunized.” Denton, who is stationed at the CDC headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, predicts in the directive that the agency will be overwhelmed pretty quickly and that screening requirements will be hard to keep up with.
Judicial Watch had to sue the CDC’s umbrella agency, the Department of Health and Human Services, (HHS) for the records. Though chunks have been redacted, the documents contradict the Obama administration’s public statements dismissing possible health and safety risks created by the tens of thousands of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) fleeing violence in Central America. The CDC official reveals in the documents obtained by JW as a result of the lawsuit that “some of these kids are not really kids they are young adults, and we should be wary of personal safety.”
JW reported this early on, when the first group of UACs arrived through the Mexican border in the summer of 2014. Homeland Security sources directly involved with the mess told JW that holding centers were jam-packed, rampant with diseases and sexually active teenagers. A veteran Border Patrol officer who heads the agency’s Tucson sector quickly established that many of the UACs were not little kids but rather 17-year-olds with possible ties to gang members in the U.S.
Weeks later JW reported that the nation’s most violent street gangs—including Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13—were actively recruiting new members at U.S. shelters housing illegal immigrant minors. A high-level Homeland Security source told JW the gangs used Red Cross phones at the shelters to communicate with the new recruits. Last fall the Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed that the MS-13 has been fortified and able to remain a top tier gang thanks to the influx of illegal alien gang members that recently crossed into the state.
The MS-13 is a feared street gang of mostly Central American illegal immigrants that’s spread throughout the U.S. and is renowned for drug distribution, murder, rape, robbery, home invasions, kidnappings, vandalism and other violent crimes. The Justice Department’s National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC) says criminal street gangs like the MS-13 are responsible for the majority of violent crimes in the U.S. and are the primary distributors of most illicit drugs.
This new batch of government records, part of an ongoing JW investigation into the UAC disaster, indicate the administration was well aware of the danger in allowing hordes of illegal immigrant youths to enter and stay in the U.S. At the very least it flies in the face of the administration’s false narrative involving the key issues of health and safety surrounding the new arrivals which have been relocated throughout the nation. Denton, the CDC environmental health scientist who warned colleagues prior to deployment, works at the agency’s Environmental, Safety and Health Compliance Office (ESHCO).
Officials from other federal agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), were also involved in the exchanges. JW will continue receiving records from the government involving this issue as part of an agreement, supervised by a federal judge, stemming from our lawsuit.