Ill immigrants bring dangerous complications that can spread far beyond NM - Albuquerque Journal

Ill immigrants bring dangerous complications that can spread far beyond NM

Janice Arnold-Jones

At the Border Security Meeting in Deming (on) March 9 there was a lot of good information but the most compelling, for me, and of the greatest concern, came from Richard Wooten, respiratory therapist, and Gary Thrasher, doctor of veterinary medicine.

Based on their data, we are one of the most vaccinated nations in the world and thus are free from human cases of TB, measles, mumps and, in animals, equine encephalitis, brucellosis, etc.

When people enter the USA through legal channels, part of the entry requirement is a health check and immunization against disease. With the uptick of migrants entering the USA as asylum seekers, there are some medical assessments, but no immunization is taking place at the border.

A significant number of asylum seekers are carrying diseases that threaten the U.S. inoculated herd. According to the March 11 Journal editorial, “Vaccinations are essential to a healthy population because they are predicated on herd immunity – when enough people are vaccinated and immune to a disease, its transmission is reduced or eliminated.”

The bacteria in TB is spread by coughs and sneezes that may travel as much as 200 feet. Measles, like TB, is highly contagious, especially four days before and after the rash appears. My children missed mumps because of MMR vaccine, yet there are over 200 recently reported cases of mumps in the asylum-seeker community.

As the number of asylum seekers grows, the number of Americans taking care of them are increasingly at risk, simply because of the number of humans compounded by buildings and buses without enough ventilation for the crush of people. …

Asylum seekers with children are frequently put on a GPS monitor with a promise to return for their “credible threat” hearing. There are few health interventions, but the likelihood of them disappearing into our country is high. They will find work in dairies, hotels and restaurants where the spread of TB, measles, lice and scabies is possible. …

In New Mexico, nearly 5,000 out of approximately 320,000 school-age students were granted immunization waivers. Add nearly 30,000 asylum seekers, since October 2018, passing into and through New Mexico; is there now a significant health risk?

Lastly, Border Patrol agents and medical professionals, who are the first contact for these large groups of asylum seekers, become vulnerable. Nothing presented during the discussion talked about protecting them. …

On March 4, Mexican officials said they expected 700,000 migrants to pass through Mexico on their way to our southwestern border. New Mexico will get its share, and with that a significant health risk due to microscopic baggage.

… New Mexicans in the Bootheel have been asking for help since at least 2005. What have they received? A hundred times more illegal immigrants passing through their property, some breaking and or stealing equipment, setting signal fires, leaving trash and needles, and sometimes a gun shoved in their face. The Bootheel is in crisis and, sadly, the chairs reserved for our governor or congressional delegation, or their representatives, remained empty (at the meeting). It is hard to listen if you aren’t there, and if you want to be in charge, you need to show up.

Yes, it is a crisis, and the health crisis may be the biggest threat of all.

Home » Opinion » Guest Columns » Ill immigrants bring dangerous complications that can spread far beyond NM


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