The Immigration Problem: What are the Health Risks?

By Dr. Elaina George Special for USDR

There are some troubling facts about the wave of immigration through the southern border that are coming to light despite efforts by the government to keep Americans in the dark. Those that have questions have been silenced using the usual tactics of cries of racism, selfishness, and lack of compassion. However, questions need to be asked because the health of Americans is potentially at risk.

This is what has been said:

Proponents of immigration have said that the wave of immigration is no different from the past.

  • Historically immigrants that have come to America (e.g., Ellis Island) went through a structured process which allowed them to be checked for communicable diseases. In some cases they were quarantined until they no longer proposed a health threat and in other cases they were sent back to their country.

  • Border patrol agents have confirmed that the immigrants flooding in are not checked for diseases because of the sheer volume and lack of manpower.
  • This is what has been said:

    The children from Central America have the same immunization rate as American children and therefore are not a health risk to Americans.

    This is what we know:

    • The immigrants coming in have been documented as having communicable diseases such as tuberculosis and swine flu. Because there is limited use of the vaccine for the former and limited effectiveness of the vaccine for the latter (studies vary on the effectiveness of the swine flu vaccine estimates range from 42-96%),  individuals that come in contact with people with these diseases are at risk of becoming infected. Those who are the most vulnerable are first responders such as border patrol agents, children, seniors, and those with a compromised immune system.
    • Immigrant children in California have been hospitalized with bacterial pneumonia and border patrol agents have been stricken with bacterial pneumonia in Texas.
    • Other documented diseases and conditions include meningitis, scabies and lice.
    • Potentially it isn’t the diseases that we have been vaccinated against that are the most concerning, but ones like TB which have developed multiple drug resistance, or tropical diseases such as Dengue fever that doctors may have difficulty diagnosing and there is no treatment for them.
    • The American population has already been put at risk with people being dropped off at bus stations and being put on commercial airlines. It could potentially escalate this fall if these sick children are placed in schools exposing classmates, teachers and their families.

    The government is seeking over 3 billion dollars for legal representation and for dispersing people to various states into communities without notification of governors under the guise of protecting the privacy of these immigrants; however, there is no attention being paid to the health of these people.

    Why aren’t questions being raised about whether it is humane to place people in unoccupied prisons, overcrowded holding pens, and now FEMA centers without adequate health screening or separation of those who are sick from the general population?  Is it compassionate to dump people bus stations with the clothes on their back with nowhere to go, no job and no money? Is it moral to encourage people to travel over a thousand miles forcing them to run a gauntlet that puts them at risk of abuse, rape and potential human trafficking on top of the health risks? Is winning at all costs and staying in power so important that it trumps safety for both the immigrants and the American people?

    The answer is clear. The immigration problem is not about compassion it is about politics.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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