Bird Flu and Illegal Immigration

By: rickstooker
A bird flu pandemic will change many things around the world, and one thing that the United States government must consider in its bird flu plans is the effect of illegal immigration.

When people are dying right and left, it's only human nature that people want to blame somebody for their problems. Therefore, a bird flu pandemic will likely spark ethnic violence around the globe. This most likely place for this to happen in the U.S. is in the southwestern states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Texas where there is a high concentration of Hispanics, some of whom entered the U.S. illegally.

We do have plans in place to monitor and screen passengers coming into the U.S. through international jet travel, and this is good. We will likely try to keep obviously sick people from even boarding planes headed for U.S. destinations. We plan to monitor passengers during the flight (because during a long Asia to U.S. flight infected people can go from nonsymptomatic to coughing and sneezing), and we plan to isolate sick passengers and quarantine the rest of the passengers and crew.

That's all well and good, but what about the many thousands of people who daily cross our border without even permission, let alone observation for good health?

Mexicans are no more likely than anybody else to be infected with bird flu, but during a pandemic no less likely either.

It's also possible that Mexican hospitals and clinics will be overwhelmed by flu patients, and so some will head for the U.S. for treatment, in the mistaken belief that U.S. hospitals and clinics will be better prepared to treat flu patients.

However, it is true that it will be difficult for anybody with bird flu to cross the desert. It'll be difficult enough for them to breathe. However, it's possible that their relatives may try to reach the U.S. in the belief they can buy Tamiflu here to save their ill family member.

We are unlikely to have enough Tamiflu to treat more than a small percentage of influenza patients, and treatment must begin within 2 days of symptoms, so it's not practical for Mexicans to get Tamiflu by going to the U.S. for sick family members, but that may not keep them from trying.

In any case, there's the risk that illegal immigrants will be blamed for further spreading bird flu into the U.S.

Another border issue is simple security. Most illegal immigrants coming from Mexico are Mexicans who want to make money in the U.S. Some are non-Mexicans who just want to work in the U.S.

Some are no doubt terrorists who want to destroy the United States. During a bird flu pandemic, more terrorists may plan to come into the United States to take advantage of pandemic-related problems.

It's also possible that Mexican gangs who now smuggle marijuana, cocaine and other drugs into the U.S. may switch to smuggling fake drugs. They'll find a large market for counterfeit or poorly made Tamiflu.
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