The U.S. Border Patrol issued the following press release on Friday, July 19:
Del Rio Border Patrol Sector African Arrests top 1,100
Immigrants are from 19 African Countries
DEL RIO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Del Rio Sector have arrested over 1,100 people from countries in Africa since May 30. “The apprehension of people from African countries illegally crossing our borders continues to increase,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz. “Our agents this year have encountered people from 51 countries other than Mexico including 19 countries from the continent of Africa.” Del Rio Sector continues to see people from the continent of Africa illegally crossing the border into the United States.
We’ve commented on this before, most recently in our July 12 post entitled “With Europe Blocked, the African Exodus Turns to America.” The problem is growing, and it is accompanied by another, potential problem that could make the first a nightmare.
A few days before the CBP announced, the World Health Organization declared the ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern.”
Alexandra Phelan, a global health expert at Georgetown University, said the declaration was long overdue. “This essentially serves as a call to the international community that they have to step up appropriate financial and technical support,” she said. Nevertheless, she still warned against the implementation of travel restrictions, claiming that they might “restrict the flow of goods and health care workers into affected countries.”
Of course, common sense would suggest that travel into affected countries need not be restricted, only travel back out. And surely health care workers could be adequately managed in both directions. The Congolese epidemic was declared nearly a year ago, on August 1, 2018. Since that time nearly 1600 victims–out of 2297 afflicted– have died, making this the second deadliest outbreak in history.
Unfortunately, the open-borders mania that has the West in its grip seems to be more powerful even than the real threat of a global pandemic of a disease that is invariably fatal in at least half of cases.
As Krutika Kuppalli, MD, of Stanford University School of Medicine pointed out, “With our increasingly connected world, infectious diseases are only an airplane ride away, making it possible for a person exposed to Ebola in rural Africa to be in a major metropolitan city within 36 hours.”
A July 15 article on the medical profession website Medscape, apparently giving up as well on travel restrictions, stresses the importance of travel screening. (Travel screening is when you go to the doctor and they ask, “Have you recently traveled to Africa?” relying upon your giving an honest answer.) Quoting Dr. Kuppalli, the article says, “‘Northeastern DRC has been plagued by years of violence, leading to mass displacement of Congolese fleeing the area. Owing to the mobile population, there is an increased risk of individuals who have been exposed to Ebola crossing the border into one of the surrounding countries.'”
We know from the Border Patrol reports cited above that it isn’t just the “surrounding” countries at risk. Every place in the world is just “a plane ride away” from ground zero of the epidemic. Without a travel ban, the U.S. is currently relying on screening of patients, which Amy Arrington, MD, of the Texas Children’s Hospital believes is the “weakest link in US-based Ebola prevention efforts.” She says flatly, “What keeps me up at night is potentially missing a patient just by not being able to travel screen.”
That should keep us all up at night, as screening alone is not the answer. Regardless of the collective mania for open borders, travel and immigration restrictions are vital. All of our lives may depend upon them.