In normal times, presidential candidates in most countries make campaign promises to protect their citizens and ensure security and national sovereignty for their homelands.
The 2016 election in the United States has, however, taken a strange and potentially deadly twist.
As revealed by WikiLeaks, the Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, has pledged to work for “open borders” between the United States, Mexico and Canada. In a 2013 paid speech to Banco Itau, a Brazilian bank, Hillary Clinton stated: “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”
Clinton’s “dream” presumably means the southern U.S. border would be a conduit for untold millions of migrants. It is in stark contrast to the Republican candidate, Donald Trump, who has committed to building a secure border wall to improve security for the United States and improved protection for citizens.
One may argue that more “openness” between Western Hemisphere countries might possibly have some benefits, but the risks to the health and safety of Americans are far greater than the few benefits and are more serious than have been discussed in the media and at the three presidential debates.
Just what are those risks? Three major ones are:
- cost burdens on American taxpayers;
- terrorism; and
- contagious diseases.
Terrorism is on the rise. Intelligence and terrorism experts in the military and federal agencies have warned that “open borders” increase the risks of terrorists coming into the United States with intent to kill Americans. They may enter legally as “Syrian refugees,” whose identities, backgrounds and actual origin are unknown and cannot be vetted, or they may come illegally from the Middle East via our southern border in the flood of migrants from Mexico and Central America.
Contagious diseases are increasing dramatically across the U.S., but threats are not being reported in the media. Human migrants carry invisible travelers of viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites from under-developed countries lacking proper sanitation and public health services. Americans are now exposed to serious diseases that U.S. public health services had controlled or eradicated years ago. Many physicians are unfamiliar with these diseases, and many lack effective treatment.
Diseases on the rise include tuberculosis (TB), dengue fever, West Nile virus, Ebola, chikungunya, hepatitis, malaria, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis (“flesh-eating” bacteria) and even leprosy.
Medical costs can be staggering. For example, uncomplicated TB costs about $20,000 per person per year to treat. Multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) – the most common form now being brought into the U.S. – costs approximately $120,000 EACH year per person for the three years of treatment required. Extreme MDR-TB costs a whopping $430,000 per person per year for the three to five years of treatment. American taxpayers are paying for all these costs.
American children are at high risk. Immigrant children in the 2014 surge from Central America, who were processed rapidly and dispersed into communities across the U.S., appear to be the source of enterovirus D68, the severe respiratory virus that killed many young children in American cities. The EV D68 virus also caused a polio-like paralysis in 120 U.S. children.
As of August 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 50 cases of acute flaccid myelitis, a paralysis similar to polio, a big increase over 21 cases for the whole year in 2015. This outbreak is thought to be another enterovirus, whose origin is unknown but may come with immigrant children from areas where the disease is endemic and children have some immunity and therefore only mild symptoms. When the disease is brought to America, our children with no immunity then risk the full-blown polio-like paralysis. Government agencies like the CDC appear unwilling to disclose the immigrant sources that might cause Americans to reject the administration’s resettlement programs.
Cost burdens on taxpayers put a huge strain on working-class Americans and our social systems. Even if the large influx of needy foreigners are law-abiding and peaceful, our taxpayers are footing the bills for social services, housing, education, food stamps and medical care. They are competing with Americans for jobs, which drives down wages. They compete for medical care, driving up wait times for doctors and hospital emergency rooms. Medical facilities, physicians and paying patients bear the burden of uncompensated medical care for immigrants. Estimates are that immigrants illegally in the U.S. cost taxpayers more than $17 billion per year, in addition to the costs for those allowed here legally under “refugee” status.
Hillary Clinton has indicated her plan to follow in Obama’s footsteps to expand the dream of “open borders,” causing a nightmare for American families who face serious illness and death from the infectious diseases arriving with immigrants.
Democrats continue to be more wedded to their ideology and globalism agenda than to protecting the health and safety of American lives. Hillary’s dream of open borders is a threat to individual lives and to the very survival of America.
Not in my lifetime has a presidential election raised a starker choice: open borders or border security to remain a sovereign nation.
Note: Dr. Vliet is a member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, AAPS.