Illegals making U.S. a leper colony?
May 22, 2005: Leprosy, the contagious skin disease evoking thoughts of biblical and medieval times, was making its mark in the United States, and many believed the influx of illegal aliens was a main factor.
"Americans should be told that diseases long eradicated in this country – tuberculosis, leprosy, polio, for example – and other extremely contagious diseases have been linked directly to illegals," said Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz. "For example, in 40 years, only 900 persons were afflicted by leprosy in the U.S.; in the past three years, more than 7,000 cases have been presented."
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"This emerging crisis exposes the upside-down thinking of federal immigration policy," he continued. "While legal immigrants must undergo health screening prior to entering the U.S., illegal immigrants far more likely to be carrying contagious diseases are crawling under that safeguard and going undetected until they infect extraordinary numbers of American residents."
"It's creeping into the U.S.," said Dr. William Levis, head of the New York Hansen's Disease Clinic. "This is a real phenomenon. It's a public health threat. New York is endemic now, and nobody's noticed."