Communicable diseases do not stop at international borders. They could be one of the most dangerous – yet rarely considered – consequence of inadequate immigration controls. Nevertheless, the mainstream media, and most policy makers, avoid any discussion of the public health challenges presented by illegal immigration. However, in a world where rapid global travel is both accessible and affordable to large numbers of people, the possibility of an epidemic traceable to migrants is a reality that cannot be ignored.
When people live in areas lacking basic sanitation and medical care, diseases will take root and spread rapidly. This is neither an expression of xenophobia, nor an excuse to exclude migrants as “carriers of disease.” The need to control infectious disease is a simple fact of human biology. Continue reading