Illegal immigration bringing deadly diseases back to the U.S.

Illegal immigration diseasesAn E. coli epidemic in Seattle and Kansas City and 19 other states? TB in New York and Manassas, Virginia? Leprosy in New Hampshire? Dengue Fever in Laredo? What’s going on here?

If you think data about illegal alien crime is hidden from public, just try to find information on the contagious diseases brought across our borders by illegal aliens from nearly 100 countries. If we survey the anecdotal and sporadic official data of the past fifteen years, there is no doubt we are being invaded daily by dangerous diseases.

There is good reason to believe the government is minimizing this risk as part of its disinformation campaign to sanitize illegal immigration and to portray all critics as “anti-immigrant.” Although the U.S. Border Patrol publishes frequent reports on the number of individuals apprehended crossing the border, no agency publishes reports on the diseases they bring with them and then carry into our communities.

And the threat is increasing, not shrinking, because the cross-border traffic is coming from places beyond Mexico and Central America. In 2014, for the first time in more than 20 years, over 50% of the illegal aliens crossing our 1,940-mile southwest border came from countries other than Mexico–and total cross-border traffic is expanding as well. Over 485,000 people were apprehended in 2014, and if you use the government’s “Gotaway Ratio” of 1.5 successful evasions of the Border Patrol for every single apprehension, the number of illegal entries by foreign nationals in 2015 was over 700,000.

What do we know about the diseases carried by illegal aliens? Not much thanks to government secrecy, but we know enough to be worried.

A February 2015 report of the Southern Medical Association cautioned that, since none of the 700,000 illegal entries have been screened for infectious diseases, “Illegal immigration may expose Americans to diseases that have been virtually eradicated but are highly contagious, as in the case of TB.” The association concluded that despite the efforts of the CDC, “There’s a growing health concern over illegal immigrants bringing infectious diseases into the United States.

A year ago, the head of the Texas state medical association called for a quarantine of children arriving at the border from Central America. Instead, the Obama administration ordered the processing of the children to be expedited.

It has long been established that sanitation and health conditions in migrant farm worker camps from California to North Carolina do not meet acceptable standards– and those are camps for legal migrant workers allowed into the country as part of the H2-A program for seasonal guest workers. In truth, illegal workers are mixed with legal ones in most farm labor camps provided by employers, and that co-mingling helps spread infectious diseases.

Does anyone think it strange that public health officials have been slow to find the cause of the E. coli contamination in food served at the Chipotle fast food chain serving Mexican food, a scandal that has closed the company’s restaurants in 21 states? The FDA and CDC have joined forces with state health officials to identify the source of the contamination. This outbreak involves an especially dangerous strain of E. coli that can cause death in extreme cases. Is it only a coincidence that the company markets itself as serving on “organic, non-GMO” foods from local farms? And would anyone be surprised if it turns out that the “progressive” Chipotle restaurant chain has never been audited for the presence of illegal workers?

A recent article in the Journal of Environmental Health reported on a rigorous study of the health of children in 87 families living in migrant farm worker camps in North Carolina. It concluded that a major cause of poor health among the migrant families is the non-enforcement of existing regulations by government. The report noted that:

Of particular concern …is the extraordinarily high prevalence of Giardia lamblia a protozoan which is the most frequent cause of water-born epidemics of diarrhea in the U.S.

In fact, such health concerns have persisted for over a decade and were identified in papers published between 2002 and 2006 by Dr. Madeleine Cosman. Dr. Cosman warned that, “Horrendous diseases that long ago America had conquered are resurging … [and] suddenly are reappearing in American emergency rooms and medical offices.”

Among the most common diseases found among illegal immigrants are the new multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB), Chagas Disease, Leprosy, and Dengue Fever.

  • TB was largely unknown in Virginia until 2002, when it spiked 17% statewide and 188% in Prince William County, a suburb of Washington, DC. Public health officials blamed illegal immigration.
  • Indiana University School of Medicine in 2001 studied an outbreak of MDR-TB and traced it to illegal immigrants from Mexico.
  • Queens, NY public health officials have attributed 81% of new TB cases to immigrants.
  • In 2002, the U.S. CDC attributed 42% of all new TB cases to “foreign born” persons, which includes both legal and illegal immigrants. THE CDC report suggested that 66% of all new TB cases in the U.S. originate in Mexico, the Philippines and Vietnam.
  • Leprosy was so rare in this country that only 900 cases were reported in the 40 years 1960-2000. Suddenly, from 2002 to 2005, we had 7,000 cases and is now endemic in the northeastern United States. Most of the cases are traceable to Brazil, Mexico, Caribbean nations and India.
  • Dengue Fever is extremely rare in America, but recently there was a sudden outbreak in Webb County, Texas, on the Rio Grande.

In July of 2014, Georgia Congressman Phil Gingrey, M.D., sent a letter to the CDC citing reports that the tens of thousands of “unaccompanied children” arriving at the border pose a public health risk when resettled across the country. He voiced concern for the safety of Border Patrol personnel and the adequacy of CDC vaccination programs. Unfortunately, the CDC has not seen fit to share more information with the public on the children’s health condition and the treatments provided.

What should scare us most is not what we know about the health of 700,000 illegal aliens arriving each year but what we do not know. When the Obama administration goes to great lengths to hide the truth about so many of its activities, there is no reason to trust what they are telling us about the health profiles of hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens released into the American heartland.

  • It’s not just the number of illegal aliens entering our country each year, a number that is climbing again, it is where they come from and WHO they are that pose both a public health and a national security concern.
  • If an illegal alien from Brazil or Vietnam and carry an infectious disease across the border by accident, what kind of diseases can be carried and spread by Islamic jihadis who are on a suicide mission? Since 2005, over 1400 aliens from “special interest countries,” countries known to have terrorist cells, were apprehended attempting to cross the southwest border. How many were not apprehended?

While accurate information on this topic is withheld and thus hard to find, we do know one thing for certain. The public health ramifications of our scandalous open borders are possibly even more dangerous and far-reaching than the economic and political consequences.



Tom Tancredo pic 2

Tom Tancredo is the founder of the Rocky Mountain Foundation and founder and co-chairman of Team America PAC.

Tom represented Colorado’s sixth congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1999 to 2009, and he is a former presidential candidate.


He is the author of In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America’s Border and Security.