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Military Medical Teams Aided Migrants On Border After Deaths In CBP Custody

U.S. Marines arrive at the San Ysidro Port of Entry to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection with border security, Nov. 8, 2018.
Steve Walsh
U.S. Marines arrive at the San Ysidro Port of Entry to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection with border security, Nov. 8, 2018.

U.S. military medical teams evaluated about 200 patients in California and Arizona, from Jan. 5 to Jan. 31, said Col. Cathy Wilkinson, spokesperson for Army North, which is coordinating the operation along the southern border, in a written statement.

"Since January 5, 2019, Department of Defense medical personnel evaluated and, if necessary, treated migrants referred by CBP after their initial screenings. As of January 31, when that specific medical support mission ended,” Wilkinson’s statement read.

Department of Defense medical personnel evaluated the migrants at the Imperial Beach Border Patrol Station and the Ajo Border Patrol Station in Arizona.

“Since Feb. 1, our medical support mission will be limited to providing emergency life-saving care upon request to CBP personnel at the San Diego and El Centro sectors," she said.

No further details were made available by the Pentagon, including why CBP requested the medical assistance and why the mission ended. The assistance came roughly a week after it was announced on Dec. 27 that a second migrant child died while in custody during December.

U.S. Army North said Monday it is still evaluating where to place additional troops after the Pentagon announced Sunday that 3,750 more active duty personnel are headed to the southern border to install roughly 150 miles of additional concertina wire and other barriers.

There has been little public access to theMarines along the California border since before the holidays. When all of the troops arrive, there will be roughly 6,000 troops on the southern border – the most since President Trump called on the military just prior to the midterm elections.

Military Medical Teams Aided Migrants On Border After Deaths In CBP Custody
Active duty medical teams evaluated a couple hundred migrants in California and Arizona through most of January, at the request of the Customs and Border Protection. You can hear this story and other local news every morning by subscribing to San Diego Stories, KPBS’ daily news podcast. Subscribe via iTunes,Google Play or your favorite podcatcher.

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