Around Oct. 6, 38-year-old auto mechanic Jeff Cook decided to treat his wife and two daughters to dinner at Chi-Chi’s in Beaver Valley Mall outside Pittsburgh. Within three weeks, Cook, suffering from acute liver failure, was fighting for his life.
To save him, surgeons had a new liver flown in. They failed. Jeff Cook became, writes Lydia Polgreen of the New York Times, “the first person to die in what federal health officials say is the biggest food-borne outbreak of hepatitis A in the United States.”
Cook would not be the last. Since his death, two more Americans have died and 600 have been infected in Tennessee, Ohio, North Carolina and Georgia, as well as Pennsylvania.
The cause of the hepatitis? According to the Centers for Disease Control, “hepatitis A is spread from person to person by putting something in the mouth that has been contaminated with the stool of a person with hepatitis A. … The virus is more easily spread in areas where there are poor sanitary conditions or where good personal hygiene is not observed.”
As cases were being reported in locations hundreds of miles apart, the root of the outbreak was not some employee at the Beaver Valley Chi-Chi’s who failed to wash his hands. The cause turns out to be green onions, trucked into the United States – from Mexico. A similar incident occurred in 1996, when 175 Michigan children came down with hepatitis A from the strawberries in their school lunches, which had also been trucked in from Mexico.
On the 10th anniversary of NAFTA’s passage, perhaps some of its champions will pause to remember some of its victims.
Open borders and unrestricted immigration – the agenda of Wall Street Journal globalists – have given us other benefits that ought not to go unnoted on this anniversary.
The recurrence of tuberculosis here in America, where once it had been stamped out, has been traced to mass immigration from Mexico and other Third World countries where TB is pandemic. In 1999, 17,500 new cases were reported.
The West Nile virus was probably introduced when 16,000 foreign birds passed unscreened through JFK airport in 1999. James Fulford, writing on VDARE.com, contends the disease could have had a human carrier from the Middle East, where it apparently originated.
Also writing on VDARE.com, Sam Francis reports on “Chagas disease,” which kills 50,000 people a year in Latin America and now, according to the New York Times, threatens the U.S. blood supply.
Mexico is also said to be the primary source of the heroin, cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine coming in. How does the stuff get in? “Via passenger car and tractor-trailers,” according to the Greater Dallas Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. Mexican trucks, thanks to NAFTA, are free to roam America’s roads.
Another byproduct of open borders is violent crime. In the Los Angeles riot of 1992, worst in our history, thousands of arrestees turned out to be illegal aliens who had joined in the mass looting, pillaging and burning of America’s greatest Western city.
The poster boy of open borders has to be Angel Resendez. As author-columnist Michelle Malkin writes, Resendez, for 23 years after his first arrest and deportation, slipped back and forth across the Mexican border, tallying up one of the most horrific rap sheets in U.S. history. From 1997 to 1999, Resendez was a rail-riding serial killer who murdered nine Americans, many of them women he raped as they were dying from his beatings.
Then, there is the economic cost of open borders.
In the Golden State, where one in three illegal aliens from Mexico settles, native-born Californians have begun a mass exodus. During the 1990s, the white population fell for the first time since the gold rush. As middle- and upper-income taxpayers depart, and poor immigrants, legal and illegal, arrive, the burden on social services, from clinics to courts to schools, soars. This is a primary cause of the budget crisis Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected to solve.
But how can it be solved if the tax-consuming poor continue to arrive in huge numbers, while the middle class continues to depart, taking the tax base with it?
According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, 2.8 million new immigrants, half of them illegal, arrived in the last two years. By 2010, America will be home to 45 million, a nation within a nation.
“A country that cannot control its borders isn’t really a country any more,” said Ronald Reagan. Welcome to Mexiamerica.