Editorial: Illegal immigrants bringing epidemic across the borders

This isn’t just an immigration crisis. It is a health crisis that could cost innocent lives.

Illegal immigrants are pouring across our borders in record numbers. Along just one section of the Texas border agents have detained 150,000 illegals this year. As many as 90,000 unaccompanied children from Mexico, Central and South America are expected to enter the country this year.

And they are bringing more than the clothes on their backs. Because immunization rules are so lax in their home countries, they are bringing life-threatening diseases. Fox News reports that 10 to 25 percent of them are suffering from scabies, a highly contagious intensely itchy rash caused by insect mites.

Already drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis are spreading across Texas. Additionally, many carry Dengue Fever, measles, staph infections, strep throat and chicken pox.

In Nevada in the past year there have been several outbreaks of TB in schools. A mother and her two infant daughters died of TB in a Las Vegas hospital, leaving 20 hospital staffers infected.

Some immigrants are carrying the highly contagious swine flu virus. Two cases were confirmed in minors in separate camps in Texas recently, according to Investor’s Business Daily.

Many of the children are being crammed into close quarters in military barracks where the diseases can be spread.

Conditions are so bad at some of the holding pens that doctors and nurses have been threatened with arrest if they talk to the media about the squalid conditions and health risks to the public. “There were several of us who wanted to talk about the camps, but the agents made it clear we would be arrested,” a psychiatric counselor told a Fox News reporter.

“It was not a good atmosphere in terms of health,” an anonymous nurse said. “I would be talking to children and lice would just be climbing down their hair.”

Homeland Security will not let congressmen visit without weeks of advance notice and then they must surrender their cellphones.

Many are warning of a potential public health crisis that could prove fatal to children, the elderly and those with suppressed immune systems, such as cancer patients.

The federal government is already using buses and airplanes to transport these illegals all across the country, exposing the unsuspecting who next use those buses and planes.

“We are sending people everywhere. The average person doesn’t know what’s going on down here,” Border Patrol agent and Rio Grande Valley Union representative Chris Cabrera told an Arizona television station. “There’s been an outbreak of scabies that’s been going on for the past month.”

Cabrera added, “We are starting to see chicken pox, MRSA staph infections, we are starting to see different viruses.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns, “Many refugees and immigrants originate from countries with a high prevalence of tropical and other infectious diseases that may present a threat to individual or public health.”

With the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement policy of “catch and release” — demanding no more than a promise to show up at a hearing months hence, for which almost none ever appears — we are planting germ and virus land mines in our midst.

Defying a gag order, Border Patrol agent Hector Garcia told CNN that the Obama administration is “aiding, abetting and facilitating the smuggling of illegal aliens across the border.”

When the latest surge of illegal immigration hit the headlines, Obama did not order more guards to the border. No, he announced a “surge” of immigration judges and attorneys to process the paperwork.

These illegals should not only be deported, they should be turned back at the border and not allowed to cross into this country, where they expect to be fed, housed, healed, educated and given welfare. It may sound harsh, but it is the humanitarian thing to do for our own citizens’ physical and financial health.

Send us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, the wretched refuse, the homeless and tempest-tossed, just not the disease-ridden. — TM

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