According to a recent article from Imagine 2050, anti-immigration groups are using the Swine Flu scare to promote their own hateful messages about immigrants.
Over the weekend, William Gheen, President of ALIPAC blamed President Obama for Americans getting sick because he "failed to secure the border". Author Jill Garvey said in Immigrant Haters Promote Flu Hysteria that,
"Gheen seems to have forgotten what century it is! While ALI-PAC is busy berating the government for not erecting a barbed-wire fence against those pesky desert crossers, wealthy tourists are carrying the flu into the US fresh off their Cancun vacations." [via airplane]Like all of the rhetoric coming from folks like Gheen, there is always an attempt to use unsupported claims against immigrants and/or immigration to sway the public to their way of thinking. The fact is, news reports all week have been highlighting that those in the U.S. who have contracted the Swine flu have either recently traveled to Mexico or have been in contact with someone who traveled there.
An article appearing in the New York Times reported on 12 teenagers from St. Francis Preparatory School in Queens that visited Mexico for Spring Break. Of the 45 cases reported yesterday in the United States, 28 of those are students from St. Francis. (Teenagers From Queens in Swine Flu Spotlight, New York Times, April 27, 2009)
Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security and the World Health Organization said that shutting down the U.S. border to Mexico would do nothing to stop the the spread of Swine Flu into the United States. Napalitano had this to say,"You would close the border if you thought you could contain disease - the spread of the disease, but the disease already is in a number of states within the United States so the containment issue doesn't really play out.
With over a 1/2 million people traveling between the two countries each day, the only thing "sealing" the border would do at this point is stop commerce, further damaging the economy of the United States.
The article points out that the real tragedy in the situation is in Mexico, saying that,
"The U.S. could have strengthened the Mexican economy and in turn promoted development of a sustainable food and health system. Instead the U.S. decimated the infrastructure of Mexico with economy-destroying trade agreements, a nation of willing drug customers, and a free flow of firearms.It finishes by refuting those that seek to spread Swine Flu hysteria as an anti-immigration tool that, "This is a global health crisis, not an immigration issue and not a U.S. security issue. If we want to protect ourselves, we should start protecting our neighbors."
Read the full article by linking here or visiting http://imagine2050.newcomm.org/2009/04/28/immigrant-haters-promote-flu-hysteria