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HEALTH SCARE AT THE BORDER: Agents Warned of ‘Ebola,’ Other Diseases at Migrant ‘Holding Centers’
A Border Patrol union warned members this week of the growing healthcare emergency taking place at “migrant holding centers” along the US-Mexico border; saying an outbreak of “Ebola” and other diseases can be possible in the coming months.
“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,” reports Fox News. “But more of them are worried about other illnesses frequently popping up among detainees at stations across the southern border, according to union representatives.”
“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.’” Adds Fox.
“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.
US officials confirmed this week a “record number” of migrants from Central Africa are flying to South America and illegally entering the United States from Mexico.
“Undaunted by a dangerous journey over thousands of miles, people fleeing economic hardship and human rights abuses in African countries are coming to the U.S.-Mexico border in unprecedented numbers, surprising Border Patrol agents more accustomed to Spanish-speaking migrants,” reports the Associated Press.
“Officials in Texas and even Maine are scrambling to absorb the sharp increase in African migrants. They are coming to America after flying across the Atlantic Ocean to South America and then embarking on an often harrowing overland journey,” adds the author.
Less than two weeks ago, Border Patrol agents discovered more than 500 migrants from the Congo and Angola crossing the Rio Grande.
“More than 500 migrants from African nations — including Angola, Cameroon and the Republic of Congo — have been apprehended in Texas, at the Del Rio Border Patrol sector of the U.S.-Mexico border, since May 30, according to US Customs and Border Protection,” reports Fox News.
A single group of 116 migrants were apprehended at one time after crossing the Rio Grande into the United States.
According to federal agents, the immigrants’ inability to speak English or Spanish is creating “additional burdens on processing stations.”
“It remained unclear what route the African migrants had taken to arrive to the U.S.-Mexico border. Some Africans recently told NPR they traveled from Africa to Brazil and then north though Colombia and Central America,” adds Fox.