WSJ Edit Page: “Cheap Domestic Servants Worth Disease, Terrorism Risk.”

A couple of days late and a few corpses short, state
and federal health officials last week announced the
news that Americans are at risk from deadly diseases
because of mass immigration.  The announcements were
late because only two days earlier Congress had

for an

amnesty for illegal aliens.
  They were a few corpses
short because at least two Americans had already died
because of diseases imported by immigrants.

In Northern Virginia, state health authorities
announced that "tuberculosis continues to rise" and that
"immigration is fueling the spread," according to the
Washington Post

[“TB Still On Rise In N.Va. Drug Resistance,
Immigration Cited In Disease`s Spread,”

Washington Post, March 18, 2002
] The state Health
Department released figures showing an increase of
nearly 5 percent in TB cases in the state between 2000
and 2001, and 57 percent of the increase occurred in
Northern Virginia itself.

As the Post explained,

"Health officials say the
rise of

… is largely a consequence of the migration of
people from parts of the world where the disease is
common.  It is thought that two-thirds of the cases of
TB brought into the United States originated in just
three countries: Mexico, the Philippines and Vietnam."

Does that suggest to you that perhaps we might want
to limit immigration from such countries, or maybe that
granting an amnesty to illegal aliens from them is not
such a terrific idea?

The Post also noted that testing for TB is
currently limited to "those who apply for immigrant or
refugee status." That`s swell; the government was also
not supposed to grant visas to known terrorists, but it
did anyway last year. In any case, testing legal
immigrants and refugees for diseases like TB is sensible
enough; what`s not sensible is the amnesty for which
Congress has voted, allowing hundreds of thousands of
totally untested Mexican immigrants to legalize their
status and stay here.

TB is showing a slight decline nationwide, but a

from the Centers for Disease Control in 2000
showed that the six states with the highest incidence of
the disease were the same as those to which most
immigrants flock: California, New York, Texas, Florida,
New Jersey and Illinois. Northern Virginia is also a

(pardon the expression) for immigrants.

Tuberculosis, however, may be the least of our
worries. Two days after the amnesty vote, the CDC
released studies showing that two organ transplant
patients in the United States have died because the
organs they received were infected by a parasitic
disease imported by immigrants.

The disease in question is known as

, which "was previously confined to Latin
America," the Associated Press

. Now Chagas is here, and the organs infected
with it that caused their recipients to die "came from
the cadaver of a Central American immigrant who was
apparently infected" with the parasite that causes the

"It`s a complex issue," intones one CDC doctor. Well,
not really.

We can quibble and quack over whether immigrants
should be screened for the parasite that causes Chagas,
who should be screened, which test should be used and
other "complex issues." The simple way to deal with it
is to cut immigration and enforce current laws against
illegal immigration rigorously–including rounding
illegals up and throwing them out.

But that`s what the amnesty vote, with the support of
the Bush administration helped make impossible.

Perhaps the dumbest single statement uttered about
the amnesty vote was pronounced by a Wall Street
editorial this week. Quoting amnesty
opponent Rep. Tom Tancredo that "people will be given
amnesty under this plan who may in fact be terrorists,"
the editorial


"To stop the next Mohammed Atta, this thinking goes,
it is necessary to upend the lives of Mexican nannies in
San Diego. Never mind that Atta and the other hijackers
had all entered the U.S. legally."

Indeed, they did, which is a very strong argument for
ending legal immigration. But at least under current law
legal immigrants are in theory screened for involvement
in terrorism. Illegal immigrants—whether nannies or mass
murderers—aren`t screened at all, for terrorism or
diseases or anything else. Any terrorist wishing to
enter the country would be well advised to do so
illegally. They may already have done so, and the
amnesty that Congress passed and the

supports will let them stay here

In the

Bizarro-Planet logic
by which the Wall Street
lives, one might as well argue that "to stop
the next

of TB or Chagas, it is necessary to upend
the lives of Mexican nannies in San Diego." Indeed, it
might be necessary to "upend" their lives by sending
them back to their home countries.

Protecting the safety and general welfare of the
United States, you see, should be the paramount concern
of the federal government—even if such protection causes
an inconvenient shortage of

domestic servants
for Wall Street Journal
editorial writers.


March 21, 2002