Ingraham Again Pushes the Diseased Immigrant Myth

Ingraham Again Pushes the Diseased Immigrant Myth June 25, 2019

Arch-bigot Laura Ingraham is relentlessly pushing what is known as the Myth of the Diseased Immigrant, which has been used by bigots in this country to oppose every new wave of immigrants since the beginning of the country. But the facts simply don’t support the argument. It’s just a hysterical overreaction to justify their anti-immigrant narrative.

Credit: MiguelB

LAURA INGRAHAM: So you’re saying that in this current crush, Heather, that we’re seeing at the border, 140,000 people in the month of May alone – apparently the June numbers are through the roof as well – that most of those people could be bringing a variety of diseases into the country. We’ve seen TB outbreaks, we’ve seen the Measles, we’ve seen, obviously, Mumps, and we just don’t have the infrastructure or we don’t have the will, or combination, to actually get these people screened. Just the sheer number alone we can’t do it…

But we’re playing roulette. This is like a game of roulette that none of us would play with our own families, and now we’re letting the whole nation play with it. And we have to get to what happened in Los Angeles, too, with this huge problem of homelessness, stunning numbers, in L.A. because people are living on the street. Some of them are illegal immigrants. Not all. And they’re dealing with a huge health crisis and it’s up 16% from last year, according to the Los Angeles Times. This raises, yet another health issue – how can we police these potential outbreaks from illegal immigrants when we can’t even get a grip on American homelessness, and the intermingling of illegal immigrant homelessness, legal immigrant homelessness and just regular old American homelessness on the streets of Los Angeles. You mix all that together, Heather, and this is not alarmism, this is public health that the Democrats always say they care more about than the Republicans.

We don’t have the infrastructure or the will to screen and treat any immigrants who are sick? If we had the will, we could quickly build the infrastructure, but bigots like Ingraham prevent that from happening. We are the richest nation in the world. We could cancel a single stealth bomber and pay for screening centers staffed by physicians to treat those who come here. The notion that we can’t afford it is absurd. We can afford to spend $750 billion a year on “defense” and we sure as hell can afford to do that.

As for the idea that they carry a lot of diseases, that is simply false. Many of them are sick when they get here, but it’s a result of the grueling journey through the desert that they take to get to the border. Some of them show up with blisters on their feet, respiratory infections and the like. All easily treatable if we had the will to do it. But this claim that we’ve seen “tuberculosis outbreaks” is nonsense. Science Daily points to a review of many studies on the subject done by the UCL-Lancet Commission on Migration and Health, which “shows these myths to be unfounded, yet they continue to be used to deny migrants entry, restrict access to healthcare, or detain people unlawfully.”

“Populist discourse demonises the very same individuals who uphold economies and bolster social care and health services. Questioning the deservingness of migrants for health care on the basis of inaccurate beliefs supports practices of exclusion, harming the health of individuals, our society, and our economies,” says Commission Chair Professor Ibrahim Abubakar, UCL (UK). “Migration is the defining issue of our time. How the world addresses human mobility will determine public health and social cohesion for decades ahead. Creating health systems that integrate migrant populations will benefit entire communities with better health access for all and positive gains for local populations. Failing to do so could be more expensive to national economies, health security, and global health than the modest investments required to protect migrants’ right to health, and ensure migrants can be productive members of society.”…

A new, comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis concludes that international migrants in high-income countries have lower rates of mortality compared to general populations across the majority of disease categories. The study used mortality estimates on more than 15.2 million migrants from 92 countries and found that international migrants had lower rates of deaths for cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine, neoplasms, nervous and respiratory diseases, mental and behavioural disorders and injuries than people in the general population in the receiving country. There was no evidence of a difference for blood, genitourinary, or musculoskeletal disorders…

The stereotype of migrants as disease carriers is perhaps one of the most prevalent, and the most harmful. However, there is no systematic association between migration and importation of infectious diseases, and the evidence shows that the risk of transmission from migrating populations to host populations is generally low. Studies on tuberculosis suggest that the risk of transmission is elevated within migrant households and communities, but not in host populations.

Migrants may come from regions with higher disease burden, especially if they come from regions of conflict, with weak public health systems. But illness and infection can also be acquired or during transit — for example air travel can facilitate the rapid spread of infection. Indeed, recent examples of spread of resistant pathogens was driven mainly by international travel, tourism, and the movement of livestock rather than migration.

It’s also important to note Mexico and other Latin American countries actually have higher vaccination rates than the United States. History tells us that this argument will never die because the myth is useful to justify anti-immigrant fervor. It was used against Irish, German, Polish, Italian, Chinese and every other immigrant group that has come here over the last 200 years. Ironically, the one group of immigrants who did, in fact, bring diseases to the new world that the immune systems of natives had never encountered. Millions and millions of Indians died. The History News Network notes:

To address this issue properly we must begin with the most important reason for the Indians’ catastrophic decline—namely, the spread of highly contagious diseases to which they had no immunity. This phenomenon is known by scholars as a”virgin-soil epidemic”; in North America, it was the norm.

The most lethal of the pathogens introduced by the Europeans was smallpox, which sometimes incapacitated so many adults at once that deaths from hunger and starvation ran as high as deaths from disease; in several cases, entire tribes were rendered extinct. Other killers included measles, influenza, whooping cough, diphtheria, typhus, bubonic plague, cholera, and scarlet fever. Although syphilis was apparently native to parts of the Western hemisphere, it, too, was probably introduced into North America by Europeans.

About all this there is no essential disagreement.

White people are the only ones who truly brought disease to America and the result was mass genocide.

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