Dr. Madeleine Cosman, Ph.D., ESQApril 25, 2005 NewsWithViews.com
Illegal aliens cross America’s borders medically unexamined. We shrug. We do not know what Illegal Aliens carry in their backpacks. We do not know what they carry in their bodies.
Long ago we knew what legal immigrants brought with them. When my grandpa came to America, he kissed the ground of New York’s Ellis Island, then he stripped naked and coughed hard. Every legal immigrant before 1924 was examined for infectious diseases upon arrival and tested for tuberculosis. Anyone infected was shipped back to the old country. That was powerful incentive for each newcomer to make heroic efforts to appear healthy.
Today, legal immigrants must demonstrate that they are free of communicable diseases and drug addiction to qualify for lawful permanent residency Green Cards.
But Illegal Aliens stop at no medical checkpoint. Whoever walks through our foolishly open Golden Door comes in healthy or sick. If a border patrol sentry catches a healthy Illegal Alien he might be sent back home immediately. However, if we catch and detain a sick Illegal Alien, who after examination by physicians in a detention center proves to have a serious disease, we keep him!
Foolish compassion makes us fear that his home country has neither adequate medical resources nor modern wonder drugs. So we release sick Illegal Aliens to the American streets, to infect others if their diseases are contagious, or we place them in our Medicaid program where we pay for their expensive treatments.
Foolish medical generosity encourages clever Illegal Aliens to exploit free medical care that EMTALA, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, provides.
 Foolish medical graciousness encourages cynical Illegal Aliens to take and take and take again.
 Only a foolish guest will refuse what a foolish host offers. Our wide-open Golden Door guarantees that Illegal Aliens in their own self-interest will use and abuse our medical system. Our Golden Door also is propped open thanks to advocacy and legal aid of Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Foundation, National Immigration Law Center, Southern Poverty Law Center, and similar open border groups.
 America is fast becoming Hospital to the World.
Horrendous diseases that long ago America had conquered are resurging. Horrific diseases common in Third World poverty and medical ignorance suddenly are appearing in American emergency rooms and medical offices. Along with the visible invasion of Illegal Aliens across our borders is an invisible invasion of deadly diseases.
Many illegals who skulk across our borders have tuberculosis (TB). That disease had disappeared from America thanks to excellent hygiene and powerful modern drugs such as Isoniazid and Rifampin. , , , , , TB’s swift, deadly return now is lethal for about 60% of those infected. The culprit is the new Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB).
 Until recently MDR-TB was endemic to Mexico.
 , The mycobacterium tuberculosis is resistant to at least two major TB drugs. Ordinary TB usually is cured in six months with four drugs (that cost about $2000). MDR-TB takes 24 months with many expensive drugs with toxic side effects (that cost around $250,000).
 , Each Illegal Alien with MDR-TB coughs and infects numerous people who will not show symptoms immediately. Latent disease explodes later, like a time bomb.
TB was virtually absent in Virginia until in 2002 it spiked a 17% increase, but Prince William County, not far from Washington, D.C., had a meteoric rise of 188%. Public health officials blamed immigrants. Indiana School of Medicine in 2001 studied an outbreak of MDR-TB traced to illegal aliens from Mexico.
The Queens, New York, health department attributed 81% of new TB cases in 2001 to immigrants. The Centers for Disease Control ascribed 42% of all new TB cases to “foreign born” people who have up to eight times higher incidence.
 , , , , , Apparently 66% of all TB cases coming to America originate in Mexico, the Philippines, and Viet Nam.
Virulent TB outbreaks afflicted schoolteachers and children in Michigan, , and adults and kids in Texas.
 The teachers and kids caught it at school from coughing children of Illegal Aliens. In Minnesota, policemen suddenly came down with MDR-TB. The cops caught it in their patrol cars when they arrested Illegal Aliens who coughed in their faces. Recently TB erupted in Portland, Maine, and Del Ray Beach, Florida.
Chagas Disease has no known cure. Chagas has the revolting nickname of kissing bug disease. The Reduviid bug has parasites that favor the lips and face for infection. That noxious Trypanosoma-Cruzi protozoan annually infects 18 million people in Latin America and causes 50,000 deaths.
 , , , , , , This seditious disease also infiltrates America’s blood supply. Chagas affects blood transfusions and transplanted organs. Hundreds of blood recipients may be silently infected.
 After 10 to 20 years, up to 30% will die when their hearts or intestines, enlarged and weakened by Chagas Disease, burst.
 Two people died of the three people in 2001 who received Chagas-infected organ transplants.
Leprosy, a scourge in Biblical days and in medieval Europe, so horribly destroys flesh, faces, and fingers it was called Disease of the Soul.
 Lepers quarantined in leprosaria sounded noisemakers when they ventured out to warn people to stay far away. Leprosy or Hansen’s Disease was so rare in America that in 40 years only 900 people were afflicted.
 , , , Suddenly, in the past three years America has more than 7,000 cases of leprosy. Leprosy now is endemic to northeastern states. There are leprosy clinics in New York City. Illegal Aliens and other immigrants brought leprosy from India, Brazil, the Caribbean, and Mexico. , ,
Dengue Fever is exceptionally rare in America though common in Ecuador, Peru, Viet Nam, Thailand, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Mexico.
 Recently there was a virulent outbreak of Dengue Fever on the Webb County, Texas, border with Mexico.
 Though Dengue usually is not a fatal disease, Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever, is one strain of the disease that routinely kills.
Polio was eradicated from America but now reappears in illegal immigrants.
 Intestinal parasites were mostly obliterated. Our fine sanitation and microbe-safe food supplies made them disappear. But they are back, in the bodies of Illegal Aliens.
 , , , Malaria was obliterated but now is re-emerging in Texas and other states. , , , No mosquito that bites a person infected with malaria checks identification papers before biting another person to transmit debilitating fever.
About 4000 young children under age five annually in America contract the infectious disease called Kawasaki Disease. Youngsters develop fever, red eyes, “strawberry tongue,” and acute inflammation of their coronary arteries and other blood vessels. Many suffer heart attacks and sudden death. ,
Hepatitis A, B, and C are resurging. , , , An outbreak of Hepatitis A in 2003 near Pittsburgh endangered 3000 thanks to infected Mexico-grown scallions and Illegal Alien kitchen workers in a Chi-Chi’s restaurant. Two Americans died. Asians number 4% of Americans but over 50% of Hepatitis B cases. We inoculate all newborns for Hepatitis B although mainly Asians are susceptible.
 Why? The answer is political judgment not medical judgment.
 Deadly Marburg disease, like the fierce hemorrhagic Ebola, right now in April, 2005, is devastating Angola.
 Physicians in that African country are despairing as hundreds of infected people bleed to death. Just one infected person who could walk through the Golden Door of our Hospital to the World could be a suicide bomber with incendiaries in his arteries, veins, or capillaries.
Terrorists are buying so-called “weapons grade” strains of disease organisms for bio-warfare. America risks devastation by evil intent of a terrorist or by innocent accident of an infected Illegal Alien walking through our foolishly open Golden Door.
Illegal Aliens secret in their bodies invisible, deadly time bombs. Homeland Security ignores these lethal weapons of health destruction.
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© 2005 Madeleine Cosman - All Rights Reserved
Dr. Cosman is a medical lawyer located in California. Her forthcoming book in 2005 is Who Owns Your Body?: Doctors and Patients Behind Bars.
She lectures worldwide on medical law and medical policy, has testified before Congress on medical law issues, and has spoken in Washington for Cato Institute and Galen Institute. She wrote the ABCs of the Clinton Medical World for Congress in 1993.
A Director of California Rifle and Pistol Association, she writes "Guns and Medicine" for Firing Line. One of her 15 published books was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and was a Book of the Month Club Dividend Selection.
Madeleine promotes free-market, patient-centered medicine, and Health Savings Accounts.
Her J.D. is from New York's Cardozo School of Law, Ph.D. from Columbia University, M.A. from Hunter College, and B.A. from Barnard College. She is a member of the New York State Bar, New Jersey Bar, American Bar Association's Health Law Section, and American Inns of Court. Madeleine is Professor Emerita of City College of City University of New York and a Life Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine.