[Ed. – This concern is no more than common sense, but it’s gratifying to at least see one public official giving voice to it.]
The military’s top official responsible for Latin America says he’s concerned illegal immigrants from West Africa could already be sneaking across the porous southern border carrying Ebola, adding a new potential danger the White House will have to grapple with. …
Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly, commander of U.S. Southern Command, said he was in Costa Rica last week and encountered an embassy employee who’d run across a handful of Liberian men preparing to be smuggled into the U.S. as illegal immigrants.
“Anything can ride on the network,” Gen. Kelly said this week at the National Defense University in Washington.
He said the danger is two-fold: Not only might illegal immigrants from Africa enter the U.S. unchecked, but if Ebola spreads to Central America it could spark a new wave of illegal immigration to the U.S. that would make this summer’s surge “look like a small problem.”
“If Ebola breaks out in Haiti or in Central America, I think it is literally ‘Katie bar the door’ in terms of the mass migration of Central Americans into the United States,” the general said.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Thursday defended the steps he’s taken so far, which will soon include U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents giving closer scrutiny at five U.S. airports to travelers from the three most heavily affected West African countries. Officers will be asked to take the temperature of travelers to try to spot fever, which is one of the early symptoms of the disease.