The commander of the U.S. Southern Command, Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly, told an audience at the National Defense University illegal immigrants may bring Ebola to the United States.
“By the end of the year, there’s supposed to be 1.4 million people infected with Ebola and 62 percent of them dying, according to the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention],” Kelley said. “That’s horrific. And there is no way we can keep Ebola [contained] in West Africa.”
He said Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and other countries in Central America will not able to deal with the disease when it arrives in the Western Hemisphere.
“If it breaks out, it’s literally, ‘Katie bar the door,’ and there will be mass migration into the United States,” Kelly said. “They will run away from Ebola, or if they suspect they are infected, they will try to get to the United States for treatment.”
Kelley said he witnessed how easy it is for illegals to enter the United States. While visiting the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua with U.S. embassy personnel, he saw a group of men “waiting in line to pass into Nicaragua and then on their way north.”
“The embassy person walked over and asked who they were and they told him they were from Liberia and they had been on the road about a week,” Kelly said. “They met up with the network in Trinidad and now they were on their way to the United States — illegally, of course.”
He said the men “could have made it to New York City and still be within the incubation period for Ebola.”
The United States is currently engaged in a token effort to stop the spread of the disease. On Saturday officials will take the temperatures of travelers from West Africa as they arrive at several airports, including John F. Kennedy in New York, Dulles near Washington, O’Hare in Chicago, Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta and Newark Liberty outside New York.
“What we’re essentially doing is adding another layer of security, and this is another layer of screening that individuals who are coming from those three countries will have to go through,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Wednesday, “and what that will do, is it will add some confidence in our ability to continue to protect the American people from the Ebola outbreak.”
Any confidence the government claims to provide for the American people is undermined by the prospect of the disease entering the country through its southern border. Transnational criminal networks smuggling people into the country will not be conducting ineffective temperature checks.