Georgia Voices: Ebola outbreak reminder of our need for stronger borders
by The Augusta Chronicle
August 19, 2014 12:00 AM | 1237 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
If America’s border security is so weak to be breached by thousands of unaccompanied Central American children, what’s to stop grown-ups from less hospitable regions from doing the same?

Answer: Not much, apparently.

But don’t take our word for it. Check the recent intelligence report compiled by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, which reveals thousands of immigrants from as far away as Africa and Asia have been caught illegally crossing the southern border, from 2010 to as recently as last month.

The report, now available online, also reveals at least 71 people from the three west African nations affected by the Ebola outbreak were among those who were caught or who turned themselves in between January and July of this year.

At the risk of engaging in “fear-mongering” — as some liberal pundits have accused “right-wing media” outlets of stoking with illegal-immigration health reporting — the Border Patrol document illustrates precisely why nations must have secure borders.

It isn’t just that that a potentially Ebola-infected illegal immigrant slipped in. It’s that they easily could have, given the porosity of our southern border and the Border Patrol’s preoccupation with housing, feeding and transporting the recent wave of illegal immigrant children from Central America.

It is usually prudent to avoid “overreacting” to a crisis, but when it comes to controlling the spread of Ebola — a highly fatal illness for which there is no cure — isn’t an extremely heightened reaction precisely what this nation needs?

Indeed, Tom Frieden, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Thursday people “inevitably” would enter the United States with Ebola symptoms.

It is not possible to know how many illegal border-crossers went undetected. A federal report last year said the Border Patrol estimates it apprehends only 60 percent of those who enter illegally.

Anyone with nefarious intentions knows the easiest way to get into the United States is through its southern border.

It’s only a matter of time before they exploit that weakness further.

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