Tuesday, November 27, 2007
So, What's The Big Deal About Illegal Immigration?
In the U.S., illegal immigration is currently a hotly debated topic. In Canada, my country, it's a big yawn issue for the majority of us ...yet still a significant problem.
Dr. Douglass is an American, self-labeled politically-incorrect, medical writer. Below is Dr. Douglass' astonishing take on my question above. I extracted it from his November 26, Newsletter which I highly recommend if you too read food labels and to which you can subscribe here:
"A lot of people avoid red meat because of concerns about fat content, so they
turn to chicken as a healthier alternative. But here's a disgusting little item
that could get you re-thinking the health benefits of chicken. Not because of
its fat content - but because it may be contaminated with dreadful human
"In early November, 212 workers at a single Alabama poultry
processing plant tested positive for tuberculosis. And doctors with the Alabama
State Department of Public Health are still waiting on X-ray results for 165
other employees to see if they are contagious as well. Worse still, two of the
poultry processing workers were found to have active TB - the airborne bacteria
of which is easily spread by coughing, laughing, or even talking.
"Yummy! Chicken salad, anyone?
"Now if you're my age, you may be surprised to
hear about an outbreak of tuberculosis, a disease that's been largely eradicated
in the U.S. And that's the key phrase, my friends: eradicated in the U.S. In
third-world countries like Mexico, it's still quite common. Of the 212 workers
who tested positive, many were Hispanic - including the two with the active
"It's a well-known fact that a large proportion of the work force
in the poultry industry is Hispanic. And it's also a well-known (and often
denied) fact that a majority of these workers are illegal immigrants.
"As illegal immigration continues to run amok thanks to business and the government
turning a blind eye, tuberculosis is making a comeback in the States. Reports
say that over three-quarters of the TB cases reported in California were found
in foreign natives.
"And what's worse: Some of my colleagues in the
medical community have difficulty diagnosing TB because they're unfamiliar with
the symptoms. They rarely encounter this largely extinct illness, so it's tough
to recognize. (If you find your furniture scratched up, you think "cat," not
"saber toothed tiger," right?)
"This is a telling incident. It reveals
one of the least talked about issues within the larger debate over illegal
"I'll be the first one to step up and get a tear in my eye about huddle
masses yearning to breathe free and live "the American Dream" in this "Land of
Opportunity." But the cold fact is that the people coming to America for a
better life are coming here from countries with markedly lower and even
non-existent health standards. In some of these countries - Mexico included -
diseases that you only read about in Victorian novels (cholera, TB, typhoid, and
even plague) are daily occurrences.
"Let me spell this out for you: These
are people with a highly contagious disease, and they're handling your food.
It's more than disgusting - it's downright dangerous. And it's the least talked
about and most potentially deadly danger of illegal immigration. Public health
officials are not concerned enough by this. As for me? I'm terrified. Because
the most frightening part of this is that there are emerging strains of
drug-resistant TB being brought into the country by illegal immigrants who, of
course, bypass the health screenings regularly conducted with legal immigrants.
"You can probably recall stories told to you by parents or grandparents
about time spent on Ellis Island when they arrived in the U.S. Today, people
consider these screenings and quarantines of new immigrants the policies of a
bigoted and xenophobic country. But the truth is, the government was afraid -
and rightly so - of people bringing epidemics into the country.
"The poultry farms in Alabama? Well, they claim that the laws don't really allow for
pre-employment screening because of HIV privacy laws. Which sounds like a
convenient excuse from an industry that relies on the labor of illegal
immigrants to turn a profit. Any why not? The only ones at risk are their
customers - everyone in the U.S. that eats chicken.
"As you know, I'm not a fan of political correctness, so I'm not afraid to tell you that I think it's
high time someone in our government do something to stop illegal immigration
before it brings this country to its knees - and puts us all in the hospital.
Put up that border fence and keep those diseases from the third world on the
"Protecting our borders,
"William Campbell Douglass II, M.D. Now It's Your Turn!: Please
share how you feel and what you think about what you've just read. For
example: "Is Dr. Douglass fear-mongering?" or "Should the U.S and Canadian governments take more assertive action against illegal immigrants? or "What about required and legally-enforced quarantining of individuals with communicable diseases?" (My
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