A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has reversed on a preliminary basis the government’s ban on Mexican nationals using border-crossing cards to sell their blood in the U.S., a decision we described in a July post.
It turns out that this localized flow of blood into blood banks provides something like 10 percent of the world’s supply of plasma, a fact noted by the Judge, Tanya Chutkan. The judge ruled, according to a ProPublica article, that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “had failed to consider” the extent to which the blood plasma companies were relying on the Mexican donors.
As the article continues, “She noted that the costs of opening collection centers in other regions to make up the shortfall — $2.5 million to $4 million per center — would be ‘substantial’.”
Another alternative would simply be to pay Americans more for their blood, without opening any more centers, but that would reduce profits.
This is not a Red Cross operation, which allows only one donation every two months; the collectors of blood, and those suing CBP, are two for-profit companies based in Australia and Spain.
One of the byproducts of the judge’s decision was to perpetuate the exploitation of temporary Mexican migrants who are banned from selling blood in Mexico, but can be tapped for blood, under American regulations, as often as twice a week, or 104 times a year. No other nation permits such frequent sales of blood.
Here we have an immigration decision, protective of Mexican nationals, overturned for non-immigration considerations. Border-crossing cards allow Mexican nationals to enter border areas in the States, but not to go to the interior; they may shop and sell their blood, but not work. They are issued by the millions.
CBP refused to tell reporters if it plans to appeal.