Open Borders: A Threat to Public Health

By Ronald W. Mortensen on October 28, 2014

The Obama administration's unrelenting focus on open borders has exposed Americans to deadly diseases and has politicized the public health agencies that are charged with protecting the health of Americans — the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Rather than putting the health of Americans first, these agencies, which once took their roles to protect the public seriously, now go to great lengths to ensure that foreign nationals from countries with serious diseases are allowed to freely enter the United States. And they only act to protect the public when forced to do so by public pressure and by state officials.

The CDC, NIH, and their fellow travelers use the same arguments to justify allowing individuals from Ebola areas into the United States as other open border advocates do to justify a never ending flow of illegal immigrants:

  • The borders cannot be controlled so we have to let everyone in.

  • We can't ask foreign nationals to respect American sovereignty and American immigration laws, otherwise they will just lie to get around them.

  • If we don't have open borders, foreign nationals won't trust the authorities and won't cooperate with them.

  • If we do impose travel restrictions, people who are ill will just find ways to sneak in and if they sneak in they will go underground and infect Americans unless they are granted legal status to bring them out of the shadows.

When Ebola broke out in West Africa, the CDC and other public health agencies sent large numbers of their staff into the affected countries and CDC Director Tom Frieden traveled to the hot zone. However, after seeing the extent and devastation caused by Ebola, he took no steps to prevent it from being brought into the United States by travelers from the affected countries.

When Ebola was eventually introduced into the United States by a traveler from Liberia, Frieden told Americans that everything was fine. Interestingly, the CDC, which had staff scattered throughout West Africa, was for all intents and purposes absent from Dallas and the CDC's ineffective protocols are now thought to have contributed to the infection of healthcare workers. The CDC then reportedly told a Dallas nurse with Ebola symptoms to board an airplane and didn't stop a person who had possibly been exposed from going on a crowded cruise ship. (Mexico and Belize did see something wrong and refused the ship entry into their ports).

While Senegal, a developing country, was closing its borders with Guinea and stopping Ebola dead in its tracks, America was virtually inviting Ebola to enter through its open borders. While leaders of countries throughout Africa were requiring anyone from an Ebola area to be out of the area and symptom-free for at least 21 days before traveling to their countries, the CDC, NIH, HHS, and DHS were rolling out the red carpet for people from the hot zones and allowing them to travel freely throughout the entire United States during the full 21-day incubation period as long as the didn't have a fever at the very moment they left their home countries or at the very moment they entered the United States. Thus, the Ebola-infected individual from Liberia was able to get on a plane before his fever started and to enter the United States using his previously issued American visa in spite of the fact that he was a likely visa overstay.

While other African nations were cancelling airline service to ensure that ebola didn't spread to their countries, the CDC along with the World Health Organization (WHO), which now admits that it failed to act in a timely manner when ebola first broke out in West Africa, continues to oppose all travel bans. As a result of their policies, ebola showed up in the United States, where CDC protocols and guidelines proved to be little more than smoke and mirrors.

While Air France, British Airways, and numerous other airlines suspended service to Liberia, Atlanta-based Delta airlines, which had previously announced its discontinuance of service to Liberia, initially did an about face and continued its services because, as Delta's CEO said in August: "the great thing" about Delta having its headquarters in Atlanta is proximity to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "We have a deep relationship with CDC. ... We're continuing to operate under their guidance and advice."

When Ebola ultimately arrived in the United States, despite CDC and NIH assurances that America was ready for the disease, it quickly became evident that America was not prepared. In spite of this, the CDC and NIH continue to demand that America's borders remain open to foreign nationals from the affected countries. This, of course, allows anyone who can get on a plane to enter the United States before symptoms begin to show, which can take up to 21 days.

When public pressure finally forced the CDC and NIH to do something to protect Americans, the agencies tried to make Americans think that they were doing something while really doing nothing — just like those in charge of securing America's borders do. So they started screening people for fevers at five airports. This smoke and mirrors strategy was so transparent that even NIH Director Anthony Fauci acknowledged that people will lie when asked if they have been exposed to Ebola in order to get into the United States and that the window for catching someone with a fever is limited to the time that they are having their temperature taken upon arrival in the United States.

In a bipartisan effort, the governors of New York, New Jersey, and Illinois called the CDC and NIH's bluff and imposed quarantines on certain people entering the United States from Ebola zones. Then the U.S. Army quarantined troops returning from the Ebola zone for 21 days while the CDC continues to allow its staff members to return from the same areas without quarantine.

At one time the role of the federal government was to protect American citizens by controlling the nation's borders and protecting its citizens from public health hazards. Now it seems that the federal government is more interested in pursuing an open-borders policy regardless of the dangers that this poses to its citizens. Is it any wonder that confidence in the federal government and national leaders is at an all-time low?