/ Modified jan 2, 2019 2:52 p.m.

Coast Guard Medical Teams to Assist Border Patrol

The Border Patrol in Yuma and Tucson doesn't have the manpower to conduct medical screenings of migrant children.

U.S. Coast Guard Airlift The U.S. Coast Guard prepares to deploy to the border, in this submitted photo.
U.S. Coast Guard

The Tucson Sector of the Border Patrol is getting some desperately needed medical help from the U.S. Coast Guard.

The recent deaths of two migrant children in U.S. immigration custody prompted Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen to order the Coast Guard to deploy medical teams to the border.

Coast Guard Lt. Amy Midgett says the deployment was ordered by Homeland Security following Nielsen's visit of the Yuma and El Paso Border Patrol Sectors this past weekend.

"The Coast Guard is deploying medical personnel specifically to El Paso, Tucson and Yuma. Its three, three-person medical teams. Basically, they will be doing medical screening and tracking."

Customs and Border Patrol officials say they are apprehending more children than at any point in the past 20 years. CBP statistics show that migrants traveling as part of a family with small children accounted for 58 percent of those taken into custody this past November.

The media relations department of the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector has been furloughed because of the government shutdown, so local Border Patrol spokespeople were unavailable to answer questions about the specific jobs the U.S. Coast Guard medical teams will be taking on. There is also no word on how long the three medical teams will be deployed.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona