Posted on April 7, 2024

Experts Warn Mass Migration Threatens US Food Security

Darlene McCormick Sanchez, Epoch Times, March 26, 2024

Mass illegal immigration exposes the United States’ food supply to diseases and parasites that could ultimately affect national security, animal health experts told The Epoch Times.

With unfettered illegal immigration—some 9 million encounters since 2021—the normal guardrails for inspection are ignored, raising the likelihood of unwanted diseases being brought across the border.

Dr. Michael Vickers has been a veterinarian for about 50 years and served on the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC).

The threat to the food supply is already apparent from the past cases of tuberculosis (TB) transmitted from illegal immigrants to dairy cows in Texas, he said.

Concerns are growing that it’s only a matter of time before U.S. agriculture experiences a fresh disaster on a grand scale, Dr. Vickers said.

“These people are just destroying our country. And our food supply is going to be a real critical issue,” he told The Epoch Times.

In recent years, thousands of Texas cattle have been slaughtered after being infected with drug-resistant TB through contact with illegal aliens who end up working in dairies, Dr. Vickers said.

He recalled two separate instances in which dairy herds were infected with human strains of TB in the Texas panhandle. Certain strains of TB are zoonotic, meaning they can be spread between humans and animals.

One Texas herd of about 10,000 was affected in Castro County in 2015, and another 13,000 cattle were affected in Sherman County in 2019, according to TAHC records.

Investigators found that the human strains had originated outside of the United States.

“Most of the dairy herds in the United States are actually milked by people from Central America and beyond,” Dr. Vickers said.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) bought the Castro County herd and slaughtered it, he said. The Sherman County herd, which consisted of higher-priced organic cows, continued to be tested for TB, with infected animals removed from the herd.

Dr. Vickers said he learned that 12 illegal immigrants who were working with those dairy herds were infected with TB.

Rules meant to keep people who are carrying disease out of the United States have been sidelined under the Biden administration, according to Ammon Blair, a border security advocate at the Texas Public Policy Foundation and former Border Patrol agent.

“We’re really just mass releasing these people into the United States that could be carrying multiple diseases that aren’t even checked,” Mr. Blair told The Epoch Times.

For the first time in a quarter of a century, a New World screwworm resurgence is underway in Central America—a region that many migrants pass through on their way to the U.S. border.

Dr. Vickers fears that the screwworm could make its way into the United States again.

Susan Kibbe, executive director of the South Texans’ Property Rights Association, said she’s old enough to remember the screwworm outbreak that occurred in Texas when she was a teenager. She recalls having to scrape screwworm maggots out of the bellybuttons of newborn calves.

“It was devastating,” she said.

Ms. Kibbe told The Epoch Times that she is concerned about diseases being brought into Texas from mass illegal immigration from South America through the Darién Gap in Panama and into Central America.

She said a fever tick outbreak has already driven some ranchers out of business and that any new disease or parasite outbreak could push more ranchers to the financial brink—and endanger food security.

Texas counties bordering Mexico are already under a fever tick quarantine to stop the ticks from spreading to the state’s livestock and deer.

Fever ticks can carry a parasite that causes babesiosis, a malaria-like disease that can decimate a herd.

“We need to be food and energy independent and not dependent on other countries that don’t have our best interests at heart. I mean this is a big deal,” Ms. Kibbe said.


President Joe Biden rescinded former President Donald Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, under which would-be asylum-seekers stayed in Mexico while awaiting adjudication on their immigration court case. Instead, most are released directly into the United States.

That has allowed wholesale importation of illnesses that illegal immigrants may have.

Health screening at the border consists of asking illegal immigrants if they are sick or pregnant, Mr. Blair said.

A nurse will ask them to lift their shirts and walk by to see if there are any signs of skin disease, he said.

“That is the only check they’re given,” Mr. Blair said.

Besides TB, there have been cases of illegal immigrants bringing in chicken pox, mumps, measles, leprosy, COVID-19, and sexually transmitted diseases.


Mr. Blair said disease brought in by mass migration is a ticking time bomb for the U.S. food supply.

“Unfortunately, many do not view food security [or] sovereignty as national security,” he said. “This is going to be a massive problem.”