A U.S. Border Patrol union representative says understaffing and poorly equipped, unsanitary facilities are making the general public more susceptible to the myriad diseases accompanying the wave of illegal aliens currently bypassing the US-Mexico border.
Following the documentation of two H1N1 virus cases among illegal minors being held in south Texas facilities, National Border Patrol Council Local 3307 Vice President Chris Cabrera says he’s concerned diseases could spread beyond the confines of detention centers to local residents and indeed “all over the United States.”
“No showers, no pillows, no bedding, nothing, there’s a lot of dust, a lot of dirt floating around in there – very grim conditions,” Cabrera said, describing the lack of resources to Action 4 News.
Cabrera says the temporary facilities simply aren’t designed to deal with such a massive amount of people. “We’re just so overwhelmed, we’re not outfitted, we’re not designed to be a long term holding facility,” Cabrera lamented. “You know everything there is just put together on the fly. We’re not prepared to deal with something like this and so things are getting through.”
He also says so-called “quarantine areas” are laughable and do little to keep anyone safe.
“The quarantine area is nothing more than a piece of yellow caution tape,” Cabrera said. “Do not cross this line, if you cross this line, this is where the people with scabies are, the people with chicken pox, or whatever. So there really is no barrier between one and the other.”
This could cause communicable diseases, like the H1N1 virus, to more easily spread to the public, he says. “It’s highly contagious just like the regular flu and anybody that comes in contact with him symptomatic or asymptomatic can potentially get H1N1 and spread it. It can be fatal,” Cabrera warned.
Various agents have already contracted diseases after being exposed to afflicted individuals, and reports suggest the influx may potentially bring with it other deadly diseases such as dengue, HIV and the incurable ebola virus.
Last week, when the vice president of National Border Patrol Council Local 1929 in El Paso sought federal assistance for agents, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told him “they had no interest in this issue.”
However, on Tuesday, Infowars confirmed the CDC had indeed activated their Emergency Operation Center in response to the immigration influx, meaning the federal government now considers the illegal immigrant health crisis a “public health threat,” but no information beyond this has been provided. That means vital questions, such as: what diseases have been found, the frequency of those diseases, and which facilities had the highest rates of disease, remain unanswered.
The fact that immigrants are still being processed and shipped to other parts of the country, Cabrera says, puts the health of the nation at considerable risk. “They are coming in and it’s going to spread here to the locals in the Rio Grande Valley,” Cabrera predicts. “These people are taking buses, planes, trains all over the United States and so they are going to be taking those diseases with them.”
Medical professionals, like Dr. Elizabeth Lee Vliet, agree. She recently characterized the disease-ridden conditions in detention facilities as “a ticking time bomb” waiting to go off. Hardest-hit, she says, will be those with weak immune systems.
“A public health crisis, the likes of which I have not seen in my lifetime, is looming,” the doctor reported last month. “Hardest hit by exposures to these difficult-to-treat diseases will be elderly, children, immunosuppressed cancer-patients, patients with chronic lung disease or congestive heart failure. Drug-resistant tuberculosis is the most serious risk, but even diseases like measles can cause severe complications and death in older or immunocompromised patients.”