A member of Congress who for more than 30 years worked as a doctor says the baggage that illegal aliens are bringing into the United States now is killing people.
Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, told WND that it’s not suitcases, clothes or the like—it’s the highly infectious cases of drug-resistant and lethal tuberculosis that are walking across the Mexican border.
“It is something I am aware of and it is definitely a factor to consider in the immigration debate,” Burgess said.
While the 20th century development of antibiotics resulted in the disease being virtually eradicated in America by the 1960s, in recent years TB has been making a comeback with new strains that are resistant to most antibiotics.
Last week it was reported that a persistent strain of tuberculosis had developed in some Los Angeles neighborhoods. Officials said as many as 4,500 people may have been exposed to the disease.
The Los Angeles Times reported the strain appeared to be unique to the region and concentrated among the homeless. Because TB is highly contagious, there is a potential for a widespread outbreak as homeless individuals often move around from place to place.
Los Angeles is not the only major city to have problems with the disease. Since 2008, Jacksonville, Fla., has suffered from a TB outbreak that officials with the Center for Disease Control said was among the worst seen in 20 years.
Besides California and Florida, the states with the greatest number of multi-drug-resistant TB are Texas and New York, all having large numbers of illegal aliens within their borders. Florida was recently ranked as having the third largest illegal alien population by the Department of Homeland Security. Many illegals in Florida come from the Caribbean and other countries in the Southern Hemisphere, some of which have widespread problems with tuberculosis.
Last month, My San Antonio reported U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement agents had captured an illegal alien from Asia who was captured while trying to cross the Mexican border Nov. 27. The man was diagnosed with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, the least treatable form of the disease.
Burgess pledges that he will take steps to make sure the issue of illegal aliens introducing drug-resistant strains of these diseases is addressed as the House considers any immigration bills.