As we reported yesterday, two tractor-trailer rigs filled with migrants, many of whom with communicable diseases, were intercepted this week near the U.S. border in Mexico.
Previously, on March 26, we noted that U.S. Border Patrol agents are being kept busy transporting ill migrants to hospitals on a daily basis.
Today we learn that agents themselves are coming down with an assortment of diseases, contracted from the migrants with whom they come into contact.
Carlos Favela, president of the El Paso chapter of the Border Patrol union, told the El Paso ABC-TV affiliate on Wednesday that the number of agents calling into work sick or coming to work sick, has reached a new record. According to Favela, an average of 20 to 25 agents in the El Paso sector are calling in sick every day. Some, already out of sick days, are reporting to work sick.
Agents are routinely exposed to migrants suffering from any number of diseases, from H1N1 virus and skin diseases to chicken pox and Legionnaires’ Disease. Favela says the uptick in sick agents began at the same time as the surge of migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. in late 2018.
Border Patrol officials so far deny any increase in agents’ sickness, but Favela insists it is occurring and has asked the Centers for Disease Control to investigate.
In a related story, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced yesterday that the month of April set another record of migrant apprehensions on the border, with a total of 109,000.
For a video report, see KVIA.com.