Contagious Disease Continues To Spread Among Migrants In Tijuana Seeking Asylum

Human smugglers have changed tactics in trying to get people through the southern border of the United States. Rather than looking for holes in the fence, so to speak, the people financing the trips of individuals and families with children who hope to use the little people as insurance against deportation are now using commercial bus service for transportation.

Agents have spotted a new trend in the traffic from Central America to the U.S., with smuggling organizations using commercial buses to get people through the journey in less than a week. That’s far faster than the 25 to 30 days it takes most migrants who walk or take a mixture of transportation to get from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras through Mexico and to the border.

Along with this trend, the agents at the border are seeing another: an uptick in illness that used to require quarantine for people coming into the country.

Border authorities are referring 50 people a day for urgent medical care, including tuberculosis, flu and even pregnant women about to give birth, a top official said Monday, saying it’s unlike anything they’ve ever seen before.

Most of those in need of care are children, and a staggering 28 percent are under age 5, having been dragged along for the trip by parents who in many cases are hoping to use the children as a shield against speedy deportation from the U.S….

CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan said most of those needing help were ill when they arrived at the border, and some appear to have made the initial decision to leave even while ailing.

“Many were ill before they departed their homes,” the commissioner said. “We’re talking about cases of pneumonia, tuberculosis, parasites. These are not things that developed urgently in a matter of days.”

Which begs a number of questions:

  • How many people NOT referred for treatment are carriers of communicable disease.
  • In the past, how many such “migrants” died in the desert of these maladies.
  • How long before epidemics of these diseases are a danger to the resident population?

Far from being negligible, this could well be a humanitarian crisis for everyday Americans if the border is actually held wide open.

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