Immigration Detainees Receive Dental Care

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PORT ISABEL - People in the country illegally are receiving free dental care when they are taken into federal custody.

The cost adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The U.S. Government says dental service is available for all detainees.

Nearly a thousand people, from twenty different countries, live at the Port Isabel Detention Center.

Detainees stay at the center for fourteen days on average, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

During that time they become eligible for the free dental care.

A member of the dental team told a CHANNEL 5 NEWS crew many detainees have never been to a dentist.

They told us they've treated bombed out teeth and tooth decay.

The free services can include extractions, fillings, biopsies and cleanings.

The dental program says their mission is to maintain and stabilize dental care.

While in detainees are in custody, ICE wants to avoid medical complications, including dental complications.

During Fiscal Year 2016, the U.S. Government paid 343 thousand dollars for dental care at the Port Isabel Detention Center.

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