Canada: The Disease Dimension


Disease is the Achilles` Heel of the open-borders crowd. Contrary to their apparent imagining, there was rigorous official screening of immigrants back in the Ellis Island era: 1-3 percent of them were turned back every year. With 1-3 million illegal border crossings every year, nothing like these safeguards exist now. This may be the unreported story of West Nile Disease. It is certainly the unreported story of America`s much touted but unhistorical “commitment” to refugees.

Immigrants are bringing tuberculosis to Canada, infecting Canadians with the deadly disease and placing even more strain on the country`s overburdened healthcare system. 

Recently newspapers in southern Ontario reported that a Caribbean immigrant and his girlfriend had infected at least 14 Canadians with TB. It will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to track down and test all the people the couple had contact with.

Canada`s immigration system broke down twice. First, the man, who suffered from “one of the worst types of TB,” should not have been let in. Even under the country`s lax immigration rules, would-be immigrants with active TB are barred until they have been adequately treated in their country of origin.

Second, health authorities in Hamilton, Ontario, should have been notified about the man`s presence, but say they weren`t. As a result, he was able to live undetected in the area for a year – enough time for to make contact with 1,200 people across southern Ontario, all of whom have to be found, tested and re-tested at taxpayer`s expense.

Hamilton isn`t the only Canadian city forced to deal with tuberculosis. Last week in Montreal, a Peruvian refugee claimant with TB and “a problem with authority” barely avoided jail after repeatedly refusing to take treatment and infecting his ex-girlfriend`s five-year-old daughter.  The man described as “belligerent” was often too hungover to show up for treatment and even in spat in the face of an ambulance attendant taking him to the hospital.  Tuberculosis can be transmitted by saliva.

A year ago, the Canadian Employment and Immigration Union complained that “there is a definite health threat to its members and the Canadian public, because refugee claimants are not medically screened early enough and thoroughly enough by Health Canada.”  It cited cases of tuberculosis being discovered among refugees from Tibet, China and Kosovo.

Tuberculosis isn`t the only imported disease Canadians have to fear. Montreal recently experienced an outbreak of malaria brought in by refugees from central Africa.

Of course, the United States faces similar problems. In testimony given in April 1995 before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration, Norm Matloff discussed the impact that tuberculosis brought in by immigrants was having on America`s racial minorities.  

December 17, 2000