Our next health crisis is coming across the border. There’s still time to stop it

The past three-and-half years we have seen historic illegal immigration on our southern and northern borders. More than 5 million people have been released into this country by the Biden administration since January 2021, causing incalculable damage to our nation’s safety, economy and social stability. 

However, there is another crisis that nobody is talking about, and it is one of the biggest public health crises to ever hit this country. Despite immigration law to the contrary, no vaccinations are being required for entry, or administered after entry, to millions of migrants entering the country illegally now.  

Both the illegal entry and the lack of vaccinations must have the tacit consent of the current administration, and both are fundamental mistakes. The completely predictable result is that not only are migrant centers themselves hotbeds for outbreaks of preventable infectious diseases, but doctors’ offices, clinics, emergency rooms and hospitals across the United States are being overwhelmed by illegal aliens who are ill with diseases the U.S. had previously eradicated within its borders. 

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Immigrants entering the country legally are required to prove that they have been vaccinated for several communicable infectious diseases. The specific requirements are age-related, but for adults 18-59, vaccinations are required against 12 pathogens including COVID-19, mumps, measles, polio and Hepatitis B.   

The diseases most frequently popping up across the country include mumps, measles and tuberculosis (TB), but many others are occurring too, even including polio. It wasn’t that long ago that this country had all-but eliminated these preventable infectious diseases through vaccinations (and for TB, treatment).  

However, with millions of unvaccinated people crossing our border from over 180 countries around the world, we are seeing a resurgence of these preventable infectious illnesses.  

When migrant populations get infected with preventable infectious diseases, operations of migrant shelters are completely turned upside down, as new migrants cannot enter and the current group in the shelter has to be isolated until the outbreak is over.  

The infections also spread to those they are in contact with, including federal, state and city officers, officials, contractors, volunteers, schoolteachers and from there to other citizens, including school children.  

So, are health problems from unvaccinated migrants real? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. TB is surging again in the U.S., after being well controlled in the past, at least in part because of the large numbers of people arriving from countries where TB is not well-controlled.  

TB, a very serious and too-often fatal disease that requires long-term treatment for cure, climbed 19% in Santa Clara County, Calif., from 2022 to 2023. In information made public under a court order, thousands of migrant children infected with TB have been released in 44 states without treatment. The fact that the country now has tens of thousands of immigrants with untreated TB is a ticking time bomb for public health. 

In the New York City area and Chicago, two locations that have received heavy amounts of illegal aliens housed in migrant centers, spikes have been reported for diseases other than TB including chicken pox, measles, mumps and whooping cough.  

In a commentary published in the Washington Times on December 11, 2023, Dale Wilcox and Matt O’Brien  explained how bringing the millions of migrants who have entered the United States illegally up-to-date with the vaccination requirements in place for U.S. citizens, will save lives and money, as the health care savings from the protective effects of vaccines exceed the costs of the vaccines themselves many-fold.  

So, the bottom line is that it is high time to do the right thing, and to bring all the aliens that this administration has released into this country up to date on all the vaccinations that any legal immigrant must receive to enter the US. 

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It is important to emphasize that providing effective immunity for many of these infectious diseases requires serial vaccinations. For a vaccination program for all migrants who have entered the country illegally and for those yet to come to be effective, the newcomers must be provided portable documentation of what vaccinations they have received and be required to complete the series.  

The information on where they stand with the vaccination process could easily be added to the cell phones, they are purportedly all provided with. 

The U.S. should also immediately begin the vaccination process at our border at the first encounter of each illegal immigrant – before that immigrant is sent to a detention facility or released into the country.  

Again, the newcomers must be provided portable documentation of what vaccinations they received at the border and be required to complete the full battery of vaccinations. 

Mounting a national effort to bring all illegal immigrants up to date on all vaccinations required for legal immigration will protect the migrants themselves, protect the American citizens they encounter, protect the American health care system and protect the U.S. treasury. 

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