Wilner & O'Reilly, APLC
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Immigrant detained for refusing to comply with health officials

On July 27, a 25-year-old transient worker in California was taken into police custody after he allegedly failed to cooperate with health workers. According to sources, the Mexican native was diagnosed with tuberculosis in March after he went to a hospital in San Joaquin for treatment of a severe cough. Without proper treatment, the illness is known to have fatal consequences to those who contract it.

Reports indicate that the man was instructed by hospital staff to reside in a hotel in Stockton where a health official would later provide him with medication. However, the man allegedly left the hotel room, and once located, authorities charged him with a misdemeanor for not complying with a tuberculosis order. Although a spokesperson with the San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney's Office claimed that this move was made in the public interest, it is unclear how it might affect the transient man's work eligibility.

Reports say that the man originated from a Mexican region where a drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis has been known to exist. Court documents also accused the man of taking methamphetamine and crack cocaine, but it is unclear whether this has been confirmed by independent tests.

Individuals who have unclear citizenship statuses and face criminal charges may find it beneficial to speak to an attorney regarding their case. In some circumstances, an immigrant could face deportation, which could prevent them from gaining U.S. citizenship and result in other harsher penalties. Immigration attorneys may be able to help these individuals gain more understanding of how to work within the legal system and avoid serious penalties.

Source: ABC 6, "Arrest made in California tuberculosis case", Scott Smith, July 29, 2014

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