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Immigration policy meets the CDC

April 27, 2009

Update 4/29: Well, look at me be right. The US has its first swine flu-related death. Except, that person is an toddler from Mexico who was brought to the US for treatment.

Another wonderful lesson in the law of unintended consequences. Liberals (which, as usual, includes a number of so-called compassionate conservatives) have argued that we can’t control our border with Mexico. Chertoff said we can’t stop illegal immigration. To their way of thinking, there’s no real reason to do so anyway.

Ignore for a moment the fact that illegal alliens are illegal (even of our Secretary of Homeland of Security doesn’t realize it). Ignore the fact that illegal immigrants are taking jobs from Americans, and putting additional strain on the infrastructure of our courts, prisons, schools, and roads.  A tiny-microorganism is teaching us another lesson about the need for border control.  Meet the swine flu virus.

At least 80 people in Mexico are dead from the swine flu. At least 20 people in 5 states have come down with it in the US. At least 3 cases have been reported in Canada as well. All 3 Canadian cases appear to be linked with travel to Mexico. The UK reports cases appearing in Israel and New Zealand as well.

Janet Napolitano is implementing a policy of asking travelers about the swine flu. How’s that going to work with the millions of illegal immigrants crossing our border? Or the drug runners? I’m sure the guys carrying blocks of cash and coke will be happy to chat for a few minutes about swine flu before resuming their kidnappings in Phoenix. Maybe the new Border Czar can hand out protective masks.

How are other nations dealing with the Mexican swine flu outbreak?  Japan is using thermographic imaging at airports to check for people with high fevers. Thailand is banning the import of live pigs from Mexico AND the US, and is stepping up surveillance at points of entry. The United Arab Emirates has put its officials on alert for signs of the flu.

Some people may find the connection between border control and disease prevention to be a tenuous one. But if you don’t know who is entering your country, how can you check them for a virus? For that matter, you can’t check them for all sorts of stuff that you would screen at a real point of entry. Our lack of enforcement on the border means that both the US and Mexico are more vulnerable to cross-contamination.  If the Bush administration had tightened our border controls during his 8 years in office, we’d have more tools at our disposal for detecting and avoiding the spread of swine flu.

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