The border crisis is no longer exclusively a problem of illegal Central American migrants. As word spreads of the collapse of border enforcement, the number of migrants from Africa continues to increase. The threat of bringing in dangerous diseases is higher than ever, yet there are no mandatory and universal screenings, quarantines, or detention before illegal immigrants are released into our communities, often within hours.
According to preliminary weekly data used internally by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and given to CR by a Border Patrol agent who must remain anonymous because he is not authorized to speak to the press, over 550 African migrants were apprehended in Texas in just one week – from May 30 through June 5. The lion’s share were from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the country with the worst Ebola outbreak in the world. Here’s the breakdown:
Angola – 101
Cameroon – 6
Democratic Republic of Congo – 314
Gabon – 1
Niger – 1
Republic of Congo – 130
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), not to be confused with the smaller separate nation of “Republic of Congo,” which is to the immediate west of DRC, is currently experiencing the worst Ebola outbreak ever. As of June 4, according to the World Health Organization, there were a total of 2,025 confirmed and reported cases of Ebola, including 1,357 reported deaths.
In addition to Ebola, the DRC is experiencing 87,000 cases of measles, claiming the lives of 1,500. Angola and Cameroon are also experiencing measles outbreaks, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Yet local media in San Antonio reported on Friday that hundreds of these African migrants were seen dropped off at bus stations in San Antonio. I confirmed with CBP last week that there is no special screening, extra scrutiny, or quarantine required of those coming from African countries more than from anywhere else.
Overall, a record 20,274 illegal aliens were apprehended in Texas during this seven-day period. That is an annualized pace of over one million just for the state of Texas. Honduras had the highest single-country total, accounting for 38 percent of all illegal immigrants caught in the Lone Star State. Honduras is experiencing a mumps outbreak, and many of the caravans left from San Pedro Sula, a northern Honduran town that had 1,336 reported cases of mumps as of April. As of Monday, Arizona officials confirmed 47 cases of mumps in Pinal County, mainly in ICE facilities, a 10-year high for the state. Don McLaughlin, the mayor of Uvalde, Texas, confirmed to CR at least two known cases among the illegal immigrants held in the detention facility in his city. According to a recent DHS inspector general report, there is “a high incidence of illness among the staff” in some facilities.
Also, as of May 29, there were 51 confirmed cases of mumps among the general population in Hidalgo County, Texas, the busiest illegal alien smuggling corridor along the Southwest border. The disease has spread to every major city in the county.
Then there is Venezuela. Due to the collapse of the economy and civil society, the country is experiencing outbreaks of all sorts of diseases. The number of migrants is beginning to tick up, with 47 apprehended in Texas the first week of June.
It is simply astounding that hundreds of thousands are coming from the most disease-prone countries under the worst traveling arrangements imaginable and there is no quarantine, as required by law. Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan finally admitted publicly at yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that CBP is not screening anyone for diseases. “The public health risk—family units are released into our communities with unknown vaccination status and without a standard medical examination for communicable diseases of public health concern, as well as a public health risk of disease outbreak at processing facilities,” McAleenan said in his written testimony.
So why is McAleenan himself not requiring such a process, and if such a process is unfeasible given the numbers, shouldn’t these people be inadmissible rather than being released? Asylum does not trump the medically inadmissible statutes of 8 U.S.C. 1182. In other words, if the criminal smuggling conspiracy is so successful that it results in catastrophic numbers jamming our border, why should that strengthen the claim of the aliens to be released without following medical quarantine rather than strengthen the claim of the American sovereign to keep them out?
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article was published without hyperlinks to various sources. They have been added.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.