What has happened to the government of, by, and for the people of this country? What has happened to the government that once did everything it could to shield the American people from dangerous diseases we’ve worked so hard as a civilization to eradicate? Now, the only concern of our government is to build more health care facilities at the border to further invite in illegal aliens with dangerous diseases to suck the American taxpayer dry while exposing our country to all sorts of infectious diseases we’ve long eliminated. This is not progressive; it’s the most regressive policy imaginable, back to a time long before the Enlightenment.
On Tuesday, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan announced the building of a new facility to deal with the health crisis of those coming over the border and surrendering themselves to agents. A whopping 31,000 medical referrals were made for illegal aliens this year, straining our hospitals and local county emergency medical personnel, up from 12,000 last year.
Nobody is asking the question: Shouldn’t the goal be to shield the American people from these diseases, not just offer to treat countless hundreds of thousands from the most disease-prone regions of the world for free? Why does the forgotten American family never get factored into the equation as the government manages rather than stops the invasion? Isn’t it time, henceforth, to stop allowing them to come in at all?
Bringing in diseases from rural Central America, an undeniable threat
Last September, the Honduran Ministry of Health declared a medical state of emergency after at least 5,000 incidents of mumps were reported. Fast-forward to this week, and Texas health officials are reporting 186 cases of mumps at detention facilities within Texas, which is still the busiest migration route for the Central Americans. What occurred right around last September? The start of the caravan in Honduras. These are the people who have been arriving over the past few months, as the Mexican government and the cartel smugglers sprinkle in the caravans in groups of 100-300 rather than having them all come in at once.
Over the past few months, there have been numerous cases of chicken pox, tuberculosis, scabies, and lice among the migrants. According to the Daily Caller:
In one case, a teenager arrived at a medical clinic at the Texas border with a “vile-smelling wound on his foot,” which a pediatrician warned could cause the teen to lose his leg. At the same clinic, a young girl arrived with a 104-105 degree fever and a cough and chills.
A rotating medical team near the southern California border reportedly discovered hundreds of cases of communicable diseases and other conditions in the first two months of 2019, including 362 cases of lice, 113 cases of scabies, 22 cases of possible flu and four cases of chickenpox.
Do you really think people coming from the most disease-ridden parts of rural Central America can just be released within 10 days of detention with medical care and it won’t be a danger to Americans? What about those who don’t exhibit the symptoms during their brief stay before they are amnestied into our communities, but are carrying the diseases nonetheless? Guatemalans are 83 times more likely to have tuberculosis than Americans and seven times more likely than legal immigrants, according to the CDC.
And what about the people we do not apprehend? It’s very hard to believe that the ones we don’t apprehend somehow have a lower rate of infectious diseases. According to the Tijuana Health Department, one-third of the caravan migrants who stayed in the region were treated for health issues, including tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, chicken pox, lice, skin infections, and hepatitis.
While defenders of open borders conveniently claim that these countries have high rates of vaccinations, the CDC notes, “Access to basic healthcare in Central America largely depends on socioeconomic status and environment (urban or rural).” The migrants we are getting now are among the poorest families from rural areas, largely from the indigenous population, who are centuries behind us in health standards and education levels. As Commissioner McAleenan said during testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, “Migrants travel north from countries where poverty and disease are rampant,” and large numbers of them “may have never seen a doctor, received immunizations, or lived in sanitary conditions.”
Moreover, these countries of origin are prone to other diseases for which there are no vaccines, such as chagas, dengue fever, malaria, chikungunya and Zika. Almost every one of these migrants, a pace of nearly one million a year, is being released into our communities and schools indefinitely.
Two congressional committees held hearings this past week on the measles outbreak in America. They focused entirely on the domestic anti-vaccination crowd and never once brought up the 800-pound gorilla in the room – illegal immigration. I’m certainly not a fan of going unvaccinated, but at the end of the day, most of these diseases have been eradicated from America and it takes an external migration in order to bring in these diseases so that those who don’t vaccinate will even contract these illnesses. While some of it can come anywhere in the world through travel of domestic non-vaccinators, it’s simply inconceivable that much of this recent resurgence in near-obsolete diseases is not coming from the border, when such large numbers of migrants are arriving from places currently experiencing outbreaks and then resettling across the country.
It’s amazing how liberals suggest that somehow enforcing our sovereignty is divorced from our history and traditions on immigration. The fact is that from our colonial times through every other era, our governments scrupulously denied entry to anyone with diseases. The first concern was not for those coming, but to protect Americans, the one and only job of the United States government. Now we are permanently bringing in these people and after their hospital stays, they are almost all released into our communities.
As I noted when this outbreak began, as early as 1907, we passed laws singling out those with tuberculosis for exclusion. Yet 112 years later, we have gone backwards by allowing the courts to essentially invite in a population that is 83 times more likely to have TB than Americans. Worse, rather than turning them back, we are now on the hook for their survival. There is nothing progressive about that.
The president should finally shut down all immigration at the border
Putting aside the dozens of other reasons why all asylum claims and all immigration should be shut off until this crisis is addressed systematically, the health crisis should be reason enough. In 1893, Congress passed a law updating mandates on quarantining any vessel suspected of containing those with diseases to ensure that the American population would never be placed in danger. Section 7 of the act says:
Whenever it shall be shown to the satisfaction of the President that by reason of the existence of cholera or other infectious diseases or contagious diseases in a foreign country there is serious danger of the introduction of the same into the United States, and that notwithstanding the quarantine defense this danger is so increased by the introduction of persons or property from such country that a suspension of the right to introduce the same is demanded in the interest of the public health, the President shall have power to prohibit, in whole or in part, the introduction of persons and property from such countries or places as he shall designate and for such period of time as he may deem necessary.
Notice how similar the language is to today’s statute, 8 U.S.C. 1182(f), giving the president authority to shut off immigration for any period of time, at will, when he believes it’s in the national interests:
Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.
Yes, there is a lot of wisdom in our statutes. We don’t have a statute problem for the most part; we have a lower court problem. The Supreme Court just made clear last year that there are no limitations on this power, and the court cited the Sale v. Haitian Centers Council, Inc. (1993) case, which concluded that this power superseded even asylum law.
What better fulfillment of this statute than protecting America from known epidemics in these countries, among the many other harmful effects on our national interest?
The president would be wise to give a televised address based on the new information put out by Border Patrol and make the case for fully suspending all immigration requests and processing at or inside our border. We are closed for business. Then he should lay out this unquestionable executive power. No judge has the power to prevent the president from forbidding anyone to land on our shores or cross our land borders. Congress can try to change the statute, and voters can disapprove of the power, but the law is the law.
Once again, either we have a country, or we don’t.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.