Contagion: The Health Problem at the Border

  • Post category:News / US News

Crisis? Customs and Border Patrol Thinks So

However, It May Not be the Crisis That Everyone has Been Talking About

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The news has been abuzz this week surrounding the Trump administration’s wall-building endeavors. On Tuesday evening, President Trump pleaded with the American people to support building the wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. His call-to-action was sincere and he delivered the message that many of his supporters have been wanting to hear him say for months: we need the wall and stronger border security because there is a crisis at the border. The President spent much of the time discussing the drugs and crime issues associated with an overly porous border.

When President Trump was finished, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) both gave remarks as to the situation along our southern border. They, along with most of their fellow Democrats, contend that this entire rigmarole is simply a “manufactured crisis” with very little substance. However, they do admit that there is an influx of migrants pushing their way across our border. The big difference is they believe it’s a good thing, despite what they have said in the past.

Health Concerns are Growing on the Border

Here’s where things get a little scary. Reports from agents along the border state that of the multitudes crossing the border, almost 50 a day are needing ‘urgent medical care.’ The Washington Times reports that this includes “tuberculosis, flu and even pregnant women about to give birth.” This is a scary revelation because agents are seeing the number of sick going up drastically in recent weeks.

Many were ill before they departed their homes…These are not things that developed urgently in a matter of days.

CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan

Two different children, ages 7 and 8, have died while in custody of Customs and Border Patrol over the last couple months. This has sparked huge backlash from Democrat officials. Though the loss of these young lives is heartbreaking, this is not a case of neglect from those working along the border. “Many were ill before they departed their homes,” CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said in a statement. “We’re talking about cases of pneumonia, tuberculosis, and parasites. These are not things that developed urgently in a matter of days.”

Over the last six years, there has been a Polio-like illness spreading across the U.S. It mostly effects children at this point, and thankfully isn’t infecting thousands of people, but 2018 saw a spike in cases at 158. Its origins are still unknown, but the majority of cases are found in states along the southern border. Texas is the hardest hit state from this mystery disease. Is there a correlation between illegal immigration across our southern border and this outbreak? Though unproven at this point because they haven’t found the origins of the illness, many speculate that this is the case.

Is This Health Crisis a Risk to the American People?

The short answer is yes. The influx of illegal immigration across our southern border is a health disaster waiting to happen. Drug-resistant tuberculosis has already been discovered in several instances along the border during illegal crossings. Rumors swirl about Leprosy and other deadly diseases being spread along the border as well. However, they have yet to be verified and must be disregarded at this point. This does present a real issue for legislators: how can we protect the health and safety of the American people with such a porous border?

The process for legal immigration has always been more stringent when it comes to health/disease. When an individual looks to immigrate to the U.S. legally, we require them to undergo a full medical examination. This ensures that they are bringing no communicable diseases into this country. The CDC describes why we do this: “The purpose of the mandated [pre-immigration] medical examination is to detect inadmissible conditions, including communicable diseases of public health significance, mental disorders associated with harmful behavior, and substance use or substance-induced disorders.” In other words, we need to make sure that these individuals don’t pose a real risk to the populous in general.

Illegal immigration poses a real risk to our country in many ways, but the health concerns often get shifted to the back burner. It’s time we take the health and safety of the American public seriously. It’s time to build the wall.

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Bradley Brewer
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