BROKEN ARROW, Okla. - A state lawmaker is calling for a quarantine of the undocumented children being housed right now at Fort Sill.
State representative Mike Ritze (R-Dist 80, Broken Arrow) is also a physician in Broken Arrow who has treated many children on mission trips with a variety of contagious diseases.
Ritze says he is not blindly trusting the federal government to medically care for those minors at Fort Sill.
“Nobody has eyes on there to really ask questions or see (for themselves),” he said Monday.
Ritze said he has observed three cases of illegal immigrants having tuberculosis.
Combined with reported cases of leprosy and syphilis in Oklahoma and Arkansas, he is concerned the illegal minors being housed at Fort Sill, who are from countries without the same vaccination requirements as in the U.S., could be carrying communicable diseases as well.
“I’ve seen them in my practice,” he said, “(with) sexually transmitted diseases, scabies, fleas, diseases I haven’t seen since I was in the military in southeast Asia.”
Dr. Ritze has written a letter to the Governor, Attorney General and State Health Commissioner, asking for those minors to be quarantined.
In one letter, he wrote “…Please ensure the citizens of Oklahoma are protected by holding the illegal immigrants until a determination can be made that there are no communicable diseases that they are potentially carrying that could harm the state.”
“We’ve got to get a handle on it,” Ritze said at his Broken Arrow office, “because it’s going to flood the health care system. It’s going to flood the schools. It’s going to flood the food stamps.”
NewsChannel 4′s Kevin Ogle recently toured the Fort Sill facility and was told if children are sick, they are quarantined and treated.
The Oklahoma Health Department says any medical treatment of those children is a federal issue, not a state issue and they are only involved in the transportation of vaccines.
They released a statement Monday, saying “…to date, 6,600 doses of federally purchased vaccines for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, polio, and H1N1 flu have been delivered to Fort Sill.”
Federal officials at Fort Sill claim those illegal minors are vaccinated before they arrive.
More than 550 of those children have been processed out to family or U.S. sponsors.
We did not receive a comment from the governor’s office on Dr. Ritze’s letter by Monday evening.