There are 88 nations where the per capita GDP is lower than that of Guatemala, which stands at $4,471 as of 2017. That is likely well over one billion people living in similar or worse conditions than those coming to our border today, primarily from Central America. As such, it’s no surprise that once our government telegraphed the message to the world that our sovereignty no longer matters when someone invades with a child, people are now coming in large numbers from all over the world, including from the most disease-prone countries in Africa.
While Africans have been trickling over our border in recent months, on Friday, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that “the first large group of people from Africa” were apprehended in the Del Rio sector of Texas. In total, 116 individuals were apprehended in this African caravan on Thursday morning, including 35 from Angola, one from Cameroon, and 80 from Congo.
This demonstrates that the global migration, at this pace, will be a bottomless pit, because even if we eventually empty out the northern triangle of Central America, there are unlimited regions in the world where poverty is pervasive and from which people will travel to seek the de facto amnesty being offered.
The per capita GDPs for Angola, Cameroon, and Congo are $4,247, $1,452, and $2,147 respectively – all below that of Guatemala. Would-be African migrants have so far largely lacked the family and friend ties the Central American and Mexican immigrants have after years of illegal immigration from those countries. Once the seeds from these newer countries are planted, there is nothing stopping the illegal immigrant chain migration phenomenon from spreading to other parts of the globe in the coming years.
But when it comes to countries like Congo, there is an entirely new dimension of concern – dangerous contagious diseases. While the problems of mumps, tuberculosis, scabies, and chicken pox from Central America are bad enough, the influx of African migrants takes the concern of contagious diseases to an entirely new level.
Congo is experiencing the worst Ebola outbreak in recent memory, with over 1,300 fatalities since last August. The Ebola virus is extremely deadly, and there are no vaccinations or reliable treatments for it. While CBP noted that the group of Africans was given a medical screening, the challenge with Ebola is that the initial symptoms are often unremarkable, such as such as fever, headache, and weakness, and are therefore difficult to diagnose shortly after the infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In fact, according to the CDC, “When someone gets infected with Ebola, they will not show signs or symptoms of illness right away.”
With family units being released within days, often within hours, how can our government be certain that Americans, not to mention Border Patrol and local health officials, are not being put in danger? This is why the law (8 U.S.C. § 1222(a)) requires the government to detain all migrants “for a sufficient time to enable the immigration officers and medical officers to subject such aliens to observation and an examination sufficient to determine whether or not they belong to inadmissible classes.” This was for all migrants. It was always presumed that we would never take in people from specific countries that were experiencing deadly epidemics.
I asked CBP’s press office whether CBP has a different protocol for dealing with migrants from Congo or other African countries with risk of diseases, such as not releasing the migrants as immediately as Central Americans. A CBP spokesperson replied that “the process is the same, officers and agents review all individuals they come in contact with for signs of illness and notify CDC as needed.”
Again, Ebola and many other illnesses are not apparent through immediate symptoms, and most of these aliens are not held long enough to fulfill the dictates of § 1222(a) given the incubation period required. It’s quite shocking that country of origin would not play a role in either making these aliens inadmissible or prohibiting their release from detention.
CBP did confirm that contrary to some internet rumors, as of today, there have been no confirmed cases of Ebola at the border.
The country of Cameroon is on Congo’s western border, and its migrants should also be a concern to us. According to the CDC, Cameroon is experiencing a measles outbreak, along with the long-standing problems of many other diseases, such as yellow fever, hepatitis, malaria, and typhoid. The same measles outbreak is also in Angola, which borders Congo to the south.
However, even Angola has shut its border to Congo in light of the Ebola outbreak. Yet, the United States has evidently not shut its border to Congo. It is quite shocking the Trump administration has not included Congo on the travel ban list in light of the concern of Ebola and other diseases.
The president has unilateral authority to shut off any or all immigration, even legal immigration, and refuse to process any asylum claims (even legitimate ones) when he determines that the migration is “detrimental” to U.S. interests. If the crime, drugs, poverty, and empowerment of the cartels are not reason enough to do so, one would think the public health concern would be more than sufficient.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.