Voice For Life: speaking up for those who cannot speak for themselves

Chinese refugees endure dental problems in jail

November 8, 1996

Many of the Chinese refugees in the Lerdo Detention Facility have developed serious dental problems over the past few years. The only treatment which has been offered to the refugees is to have the offending teeth removed.

Recently, Wang Luan Ying's dental problems became so serious that the jail provided her with prescription pain medication. David Wright, who visits Wang Luan Ying every week, became aware of her dental problems and began calling Immigration officials to find out how he could arrange for adequate dental treatment for her condition.

Wright discovered that the Lerdo facility has a standard procedure for transporting inmates to outside medical and dental visits. Wright, along with Tim Palmquist, followed this procedure and made arrangements with a local dental clinic to see Wang. However, local immigration officer Mike Lizarraga intervened and refused to allow Wang to be transported to the dental appointment.

When Voice For Life continued to expose this situation on radio station KDNO, Lizarraga eventually agreed to allow Wang to be transported to the dental appointment.

Wright has agreed to pay all of the expenses for the dental care Wang Luan Ying will receive. Thank you, David!

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