ARTESIA, N.M. (KRQE) – A new report claiming illegal immigrants awaiting deportation to Central America are carrying potentially deadly diseases has some neighbors in southeastern New Mexico concerned.
Hundreds of immigrants are being house at a federal facility in Artesia, but immigration officials claim there’s nothing to worry about.
“My sources inside a camp for illegals at Lackland Air Force Base say it’s one giant emergency room,” said Reporter Todd Starnes in an interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity Tuesday.
Starnes told Hannity detainee camps, like the one in Artesia, are full of children potentially carrying deadly diseases.
“They have kids that have scabies. They also say they have chicken pox and an all out epidemic of lice so severe they say the bugs can be seen crawling down the faces of the children,” Starnes said.
Starnes cited an Associated Press article saying there are three confirmed cases of tuberculosis inside of a Texas immigration camp.
In New Mexico, neighbors have voiced similar concerns about diseases.
“No one likes to hear that something is being brought in that’s so dangerous,” said Marilyn Edington.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officials, who are in charge of the Artesia facility, say New Mexicans have nothing to fear.
They say there have been no reported active cases of tuberculosis or any other deadly diseases.
In fact, they say every person entering the camp is screened for illnesses and if something contagious shows up they’re immediately quarantined.
Still, people in the area have mixed reactions.
“I do feel sorry for the children. It’s not their fault they’re here,” said Edington.
Valeria Perry agrees, but says the report is daunting.
“We want to trust our government, but this is making it really hard,” said Perry.
KRQE News 13 asked officials about the report Starnes cited.
They sent us a statement, saying each illegal immigrant is going through multiple medical screenings to address any minor or serious medical issues.