Border Patrol agents are scared about being exposed to a variety of diseases from illegal aliens at the border.
Some Border Patrol agents in Texas are concerned about exposure to Ebola by a migrant fleeing the Democratic Republic of the Congo for the United States.
But more of them are worried about other illnesses frequently popping up among detainees at stations across the southern border, according to union representatives.
Border Patrol’s holding facilities in the Del Rio and El Paso sectors, or regions, are inundated with sick detainees, as well as sick agents.
Jon Anfinsen is a National Border Patrol Council vice president and based in Del Rio, which includes Eagle Pass, where most Congolese are arriving. Anfinsen represents approximately 1,000 agents who are based out of 10 regional holding stations. Anfinsen has been an agent 12 years and said the number of people in custody and subsequent illnesses among that population is “unprecedented.”
“Scabies, chickenpox — we had one case of the mumps here in Uvalde. I wanna say we had measles — plenty of the flu, plenty of colds, body lice, just assorted. And some of these things, they spread like wildfires when you get into a cramped holding cell. It happens,” Anfinsen said.
The continuous breakouts — in part caused by the overcrowded conditions in facilities and difficulty quarantining each sick person — are taking both a physical and mental toll on agents.
“It’s not so much the workload. It’s the constant illnesses. We have a lot of agents who are sick. The other day I talked to agents from four different stations. And every single one of them had a cough,” Anfinsen said.
“I’ll go and I’ll help process. There was one day I spent processing and we had like 40 Guatemalans and Hondurans, and most of them had some kind of cough. And sure enough the next day, I’m sick — for a week,” he said. “It’s become the new normal, and you gotta just keep going and do your job because you can’t just not process them.”
National Border Patrol Council vice president and agent in El Paso, Wesley Farris, said the breakouts rarely stop, they just dwindle down for a period.
“It’ll go in waves. Scabies — strep throat was the last one. Strep throat happened at the Santa Teresa station [in New Mexico]. It was everywhere,” Farris said. “Active tuberculosis comes in fairly regularly. We had an incident of H1N1, swine flu, in Clint [Texas] with a juvenile. And then the ones that are most disruptive are the simple ones: regular flu or lice.”
Union officials in El Paso have urged the sector’s 2,500 agents to wear gloves and face masks whenever possible. Neither official could provide confidential data on the amount of agent sick time used in order to see the brevity of sickness claims among Homeland Security employees.
It is so sad that our Border Patrol has to deal with this at the border. Our Border Patrol agents should not be worried about getting sick while defending our border. It will be hard to stop aliens with diseases from coming to the border but if we had the proper facilities in place they would be able to properly handle these migrants and our Border Patrol wouldn’t be at risk.
We also have to look at the fact they are a threat to other traveling migrants in these caravans. These traveling migrants don’t have any medicine so they likely will easily pick up diseases when traveling with sick migrants.
Open Borders isn’t moral or compassionate and this is just another reason why.
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