Editor, Casa Grande Dispatch:
What parent has not trained their child to wash their hands after using the bathroom? What restaurant does not require employees to wash their hands after using the restroom? And why? To prevent the spread of disease. Now, imagine you cannot. You cannot clean yourself, drink clean water or wash your hands. Imagine a toddler without a diaper sitting in their own feces. How long do you think it would take before their soiled clothes contaminated themselves and others? Ever hear of E. coli? This is how it spreads and it is deadly. When people do not brush, their teeth decay, which in turn leads to infection. Untreated dental infections can lead to heart disease, sinus and brain infections, which may be deadly. I've worked in the ER and I know.
Our detention centers in the U.S. lack the most basic sanitation for babies, children and adults alike. We cannot stand by, watch and wait for a health disaster to unfold. We must speak out.
As a health care professional, I can say with authority that if basic sanitation is not allowed, there will be illness and death. Fifteen deaths have already occurred at the Eloy Detention Center. This center was called in 2016 the "deadliest in the nation." In 2016 there was a measles outbreak, which contributed to a statewide outbreak. Earlier this year a countywide mumps outbreak caused a quarantine at ICE detention centers in Eloy and Florence.
No matter what your beliefs are about immigration to the U.S., I am sure you do not believe inhumane treatment is correct. We are not a third world country that does not value life. There is no need to treat men, women and babies with less regard than animals.