Sneaking Into the Country While Sick

Border checkpoints may catch some people crossing over that are carrying diseases we could do without; diseases being introduced into the overall population. However, this doesn’t address the question of sick illegal immigrants.

There are literally thousands of people who cross our borders daily that are ill with anything from a cold to N1H1 flu and from TB to Hepatitis. How do we stop them, either at the border or from crossing over illegally? These are the burning questions today in US immigration law. Stopping those legally crossing and turning them back won’t make much difference if they get it into their heads that they want to come to the US no matter what.

The thing is that even if a legal immigrant is denied US citizenship, there is nothing stopping them from coming into the country illegally. “And it’s darn certain that even border fences, checks, videos and other deterrents aren’t really working, even if there is the fear of getting caught,” said Sally Odell of Rifkin Fox-Isicoff, P.A., in Miami and Orlando, Florida. It doesn’t seem to matter if what they are doing is illegal; the need to provide for their families at home is a major driving factor in most cross border apprehensions.

“The problem however, lies not just with illegal or legal immigrants that are ill crossing our borders; this also extends to immigrants from third world countries. If they’re sick and immigrate to the US, how do we know they are ill until the symptoms manifest themselves?” added Odell. These types of questions always lurk in the minds of legislators, law enforcement and health officials when it comes to making decisions about the rules and regulations pertaining to immigration – from any country.

The bottom line is that there are still human rights issues at play, and whether we like it or not they need to be addressed equitably. “If we become too “exclusive” (meaning in this instance to exclude) in our immigration policies, we run the very real risk of being regarded as a country that subscribes to racial discrimination,” commented Sally Odell of Rifkin Fox-Isicoff, P.A., in Miami and Orlando, Florida.
It’s a fine line to walk, and many immigration lawyers shudder to think what the future may hold.

Immigration laws definitely need far better health screening rules and procedures. No one would argue that point. Where the argument hits the fan is when politicians advocate for tighter borders (e.g. the fence between the southern states and Mexico) and even stricter border checks, etc. The real question underlying all of this great debate is: “What about human rights issues?”

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