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Despite swine flu spreading, officials rule out border closure

April 30, 2009 by  

Despite swine flu spreading, officials rule out border closure The U.S. government has said it was not planning to close the border with Mexico due to the swine flu outbreaks.

According to the Star Telegram, Representatives Michael Burgess, a Texas Republican, and Eric Massa, a New York Democrat, along with a national anti-illegal immigration group, have asked federal officials and Texas Governor Rick Perry to shut down the border.

"The border should be closed," said Burgess, quoted by the newspaper. "At least until we get a better handle on how big this is."

Meanwhile, the Americans for Legal Immigration Political Action Committee called on Perry to send the National Guard to the border immediately.

However, officials in Washington believe this would be counterproductive.

"Closing our nation’s borders is not merited here," said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano at a mid-afternoon briefing.

She added the move would have enormous adverse economic consequences and would have "no impact or very little" to help stop the spread of the virus which is already present in our country.

However, she admitted the government was consulting with scientists to see whether any "additional screening beyond what we are already doing in terms of active monitoring would make sense at the borders."

U.S. scientists are racing to develop a vaccine, but they caution it would take several months before enough doses are available for testing in humans .
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