HR 3525 - US Border Patrol Medical Screening Standards Act - National Key Vote

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Title: US Border Patrol Medical Screening Standards Act

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to pass a bill that amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to direct the Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection to establish uniform processes for medical screening of individuals interdicted between ports of entry.



  • Requires the Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in coordination with the Chief Medical Officer of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to establish uniform processes and training to ensure consistent and efficient medical screening of all individuals, with priority given to children under the age of 18 interdicted before transfer from CBP custody, but in no case longer than 12 hours after such interdiction, or 6 hours in the case of a high priority individual, no later than 30 days after this bill’s date of enactment (Sec. 2).

  • Specifies that such screenings must be conducted by a medical professional and should be developed in collaboration with non-governmental experts in the delivery of health care in humanitarian crises and the delivery of health care to children (Sec. 2).

  • Defines “high priority individual” as an individual who self-identifies as having a medical condition needing prompt attention, exhibits signs of acute illness, is pregnant, is a child, or is elderly (Sec. 2).

  • Requires the uniform processes and training established above to include, at a minimum, the following components (Sec. 2):

    • Requirements for initial in-person screening that includes documentation of the following:

      • Visual assessment of overall physical and behavioral state, including any possible disability;

      • A brief medical history, including demographic information, current medications, and any chronic or past illnesses; 

      • Any current medical complaints; and 

      • A physical examination that includes the screening of vital signs such as body temperature, pulse rate, and blood pressure. 

    • Criteria for determining when to make a referral to higher medical care and a process to execute such referral;

    • Recordkeeping requirements regarding how information is to be recorded for each initial screening, including information on the use of interpretation services;

    • Review by a medical professional of any prescribed medication that is in the detainee’s possession or that was confiscated upon arrival to determine if such medication may be kept by such detainee for use during detention, properly stored with appropriate access for use during detention, or maintained with a detainee’s personal property; and 

    • Chaperones for the physical examination of minors, including, as appropriate, the parent, legal guardian, the minor’s closest present adult relative, or a US Border Patrol agent of the same gender. 

  • Requires a pediatric medical expert to be on site in every US Border Patrol sector, and requires the Chief of US Border Patrol to prepare a plan to deploy in-person or technology-facilitated medical consultation with a licensed medical professional to US Border Patrol facilities that experience an increase in apprehensions of children greater than 10 percent over the preceding 60 days (Sec. 2).

  • Requires the Chief Information Officer of DHS, in coordination with the Chief Medical Officer of DHS, to establish within the Department an electronic health record system that can be accessed by all departmental components operating along the borders of the US, for individuals in the custody of such components, no later than 30 days after the enactment of this bill (Sec. 4).

  • Requires the Chief Information Officer, in coordination with the Chief Medical Officer, to conduct an assessment of the electronic health records system to determine the capacity for improvement and interoperability, no later than 120 days after the system’s implementation (Sec. 4).

  • Requires the Secretary of DHS to submit to the House and Senate Committees on Homeland Security a report containing recommendations for addressing capability gaps regarding the provision of comprehensive medical screenings for individuals, particularly children, pregnant women, the elderly, and other vulnerable populations, interdicted by CBP between ports of entry  (Sec. 3).

  • Requires such reports to be submitted no later than one year after the enactment of this bill (Sec. 3).

Title: US Border Patrol Medical Screening Standards Act