Allow Doctors for Camp Closure to offer influenza vaccine at a migrant detention center, in accordance with current, evidence-based standards of preventive health care.
Why is this important?
In the last year, three children have died from flu-related illnesses while in immigration jails, yet Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officials refuse to offer flu vaccines to children and families.
On December 9, I joined dozens of my fellow doctors and went to the Chula Vista Border Patrol Station and demanded to be let in to treat the children. We had flu vaccines, all needed equipment, our medical licenses, translators, and consent forms -- we were ready to treat the children, all at no charge to the federal government.
We stood outside the gates for six hours, chanting peacefully and asking to be let in -- but the Border Patrol refused. So the next day, we went to the CBP headquarters in San Diego and demanded to be let in again.
Then they arrested me, three other physicians, and two activists. I was shocked.
I am a doctor. I remember what it was like to come over the border when I was a child, and I still carry the psychological trauma from it. I know -- both from my own personal experience and my experience as a doctor -- that child separation has a horrific impact on the mind and body.
The flu can be treated, and it’s unconscionable that the CBP is denying children the most basic care.
I took an oath, and I take that seriously. Please stand with us and demand we are let in.
Dr. Mario R Mendoza, MD, MS
Member, Doctors of Camp Closure
Member, Families Belong Together
of 15,000 signatures
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