|The Mexican day laborer jailed in Gwinnett County for refusing tuberculosis treatment could be released by the end of this week, health officials said Tuesday.|
But even though Francisco Santos would no longer be contagious, the 17-year-old would still not be cured — and he would not be a completely free man.
Santos will be handed over to the custody of his mother, and both have signed a legally binding consent order saying he will comply with nine months of treatment and not leave the area.
In addition, when Santos leaves the Gwinnett County jail, federal immigration officials say they will hand him a notice to appear in court for deportation.
....Santos' mother, who declined to comment Tuesday, has also been slated for deportation as an illegal immigrant, Rocha said. Enriqueta Palacios and her son are expected to appear before an immigration judge in Atlanta within a few weeks. Those proceedings can take a few months, and, pending appeals and other actions, the final deportation could come soon after that or take several more months.
In total, he may not be deported for another two years, which would provide him time to receive the treatment locally.
Gwinnett health officials say they have stressed to Santos and his mother that leaving the area and neglecting his treatment could injure him, his family and the public. He would become a fugitive and he could become contagious again.
"They've given every indication that they understand ... and they've given no clues that they intend to do anything but accept the treatment and we hope and pray that's what they adhere to," said county health spokesman Vernon Goins.
What sort of moron in the health department think this is a good plan? Of course they are going to flee, why wouldn't they considering they are getting deported? Hope and prayers with someone with a contagious disease isn't going to work. This plan is going to cause outrage.