A Department of Homeland Security report reveals that government employees working with illegal immigrants flooding across the U.S.’s southern border are being exposed to communicable diseases such as “respiratory illnesses, chicken pox, tuberculosis, and scabies.”
According to the DHS report, government workers tasked with maintaining sanitary conditions at immigration processing and detention centers are having a tough time due to the sheer numbers of illegal immigrants making their way into the country and lack of funds.
The report also notes that disease is being spread among the immigrants and government employees due to “UAC [unaccompanied alien children] and family unit illnesses and unfamiliarity with bathroom facilities” resulting in staff exposer to human waste.
DHS employees reported exposure to communicable diseases and becoming sick on duty. For example, during a recent site visit to the Del Rio USBP Station and Del Rio Port of Entry, CBP personnel reported contracting scabies, lice, and chicken pox. Two CBP Officers reported that their children were diagnosed with chicken pox within days of the CBP Officers’ contact with a UAC who had chicken pox. In addition, USBP personnel at the Clint Station and Santa Teresa Station reported that they were potentially exposed to tuberculosis.
Amid global concerns of a deadly outbreak of Ebola virus in Africa and the threat of the virus spreading to other parts of the world through global travel, some people, including Georgia Representative Phil Gingrey, have questioned whether the immigration influx could increase the possibility of a similar outbreak in the U.S.
“Reports of illegal immigrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning,” Gingrey wrote in a letter to the Centers for Disease Control earlier in the month.
“Many of the children who are coming across the border also lack basic vaccinations such as those to prevent chicken pox or measles,” he continued. “This makes Americans who are not vaccinated — and especially young children and the elderly — particularly susceptible.”
The CDC said it would look into the lawmaker’s concerns but has also noted that U.S. isolation and infection control measures would make an outbreak—however it was sparked—unlikely in the Nation.