The Caravan Is A Threat To Americans In More Ways Than One

Border Patrol photo taken in September 2018

Among the many humanitarian concerns raised by the caravan attempting to cross our southern border is one that poses an alarming risk to the health of our communities: many caravaners have serious illnesses, including communicable diseases.

As a physician who served as a Member of Congress, I know how important it is to take this troubling fact into account as President Trump works with Congress to resolve the current crisis and to address the glaring deficiencies in our immigration policy. When those determined to oppose the President ignore or minimize public-health risks, they hurt not only Americans, but also the caravaners themselves.

When Democrats and media commentators deride the enforcement of our immigration laws and border integrity as “racist,” they’re not only being dishonest, but also irresponsible. A Tijuana Health Department official recently told Fox News that 2,267 of the 6,000 caravaners are suffering from serious health issues, including four confirmed cases of HIV/AIDS; four cases of chickenpox; three cases of tuberculosis; and more than 100 skin infections and lice infestations.

Identifying and addressing health hazards is neither controversial or dehumanizing; in fact, it’s already required by law, and rightly so, for anyone seeking to immigrate to the United States to undergo evaluation to ensure they’re not exposing Americans to communicable diseases.

Sadly, the alarming health conditions within the caravan aren’t surprising. 

Honduras, the birthplace of the current caravan, struggles to deal with an array of illnesses so dangerous that our own Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises prospective travelers to undergo multiple precautionary vaccinations before visiting the country. 

Allowing caravaners with serious illnesses to enter the United States without the health certification required of those who seek to immigrate legally will expose Americans to disease risks from which our laws have been designed to protect them.

Beyond that sensible and lifesaving precaution, we must also, reasonably and rationally, take into account the cost of providing healthcare to thousands of people when our infrastructure is already strained. A 2018 report for Forbes prepared by Chris Conover, a scholar at Duke University’s Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research, explains that Americans “cross-subsidize health care for unauthorized immigrants to the tune of $18.5 billion a year.”

Aside from the glaring fact that the Democrats’ signature healthcare law, Obamacare, has already added to the burdens on all of us who pay higher taxes and health-insurance premiums for our own medical care–shouldn’t we be devoting that $18.5 billion a year to assure that our veterans who’ve been neglected by the Veterans Administration, that President Trump’s working hard to reform, receive the care they’ve earned and deserve?

Democrats claim to care about aspiring immigrants, but taking a thoughtless approach to what should be an orderly process is actually a callous and cynical dereliction of responsibility to everyone involved:

–the caravaners who journey hundreds of miles on foot under perilous conditions;

–the communities in Mexico forced to harbor thousands of sick and desperate people who don’t belong there;

–the communities in the United States put at risk by those who enter illegally; –and all the Americans, like our veterans, who desperately need the resources that would be consumed in housing, feeding, educating, and providing for the short- and long-term needs of today’s caravaners as well as those who will be encouraged by their “success” to follow them in future.

True compassion requires that we fix our broken immigration system. We need laws, infrastructure, and processes that will allow aspiring migrants to enter our country in a fair and orderly way, and that will allow for the needs of Americans, rightly, to take priority.

President Trump understands this—but, as conscientious as he’s been, he can’t solve these problems on his own. Congress must act. The health and safety of our communities, and of those beyond our borders, depend on it. 

Dr. Nan Hayworth is an ophthalmologist and former Congresswoman for New York’s 19th congressional district.


  1. When more illegals are allowed to come in and stay, it hurts those who follow the rules; the illegals are not focused on what is good for America and many try to get in at night; That in itself should make us concerned. We have no idea how many illegals are already in the U.S.

    The question about citizenship should be added to the 2020 census.

    The question about citizenship needs to be added to the 2020 census.

  2. I learned today that the Swine flu is the flu going on here in the U.S.A..All evidence also points to illegals bringing into our country Neurocysticercosis and Enterovirus 68 which have killed Americans. I understand a former Director of Assoc. of American Physicians and Surgeons said current immigration practices in America could lead to a public health crisis the likes of which she has not seen in her lifetime; We should all be concerned for our families and our health care system being there for U.S. CITIZENS. We can’t afford to take complete care of the world’s poor as we are already OVER $21 trillion in debt without counting the underfunded pensions. When automation takes over all the low skilled jobs in a few years along with our next big recession what will we all do? We have to think ahead!

  3. Mary Anne/ I no longer give to the Catholic Church. They are now building on so they will have pews for the illegals. I wonder if the 26 year old who just died of the swine flu and meningitis in San Diego was exposed to the illegal disease carriers. Tb they bring in doesn’t respond to our drug therapies and they have hepatitis,whooping cough,chagas,leprosy,MRSA Infections,viral and bacterial meningitis,polio, Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, Measles and? according to a letter. PRESIDENT TRUMP, we are behind you! BUILD THE WALL!

  4. Check uout how much USCatholic Charities rakes in for moving “refugees” around. The Lutheran Charities are doing the same thing collecting big $$$ from UN, Soros & USAID. It’s disgusting we are paying for these caravans.

  5. Refugees should be furious with the people who are cutting in line. This is a rotten situation.

  6. The liberals are using the immigrants to put our health industry further in debit everyday..IT IS TIME FOR ALL OF OUR POLITICAL BULLSHITERS TO PICK UP THIS TAB WITH ALL THE MONEY THEY STEAL FROM US DAILY…….

  7. The U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Sweden & Hungary are now all in economic turmoil b-cuz of overwealming illegal immigration across their borders… Madam Pres. Merkle of Germany, a Liberal, actually encouraged it. Will America learn anything from that example? Not if The coming Majority Leader, Nancy Pelosi has her way. There is a special kind of “stupid” in the Liberal Democrat Party of the 21st Century. The American Patriots really need to rise up from their malaise, support Pres. Trump and demand the Reps & Senators to enact Immigration Reform. The last Congress was the least active Congress in a generation. They are too comfortable, too arrogant, too self absorbed. They just followed their do nothing Leaders, Ryan & McConnel.

  8. Carlos Slimm, a Mexican is the wealthiest person in the world. There are scores of other wealthy multi-billionaires throughout Central and South America who would love for you, we, of the USA to provide for their criminals and their other countrymen and take care of their problems for them. That’s how they get rich and stay that way while Americans go homeless or just barely stay in their homes. Let the wealthy of Central and South America care for their own citizens and let us take care of ourselves and our families.

  9. Now the caravan says ” pay us $50thousand each and we will go home”, this is for so called reparations! This stinks of mecha! I have a penny they can have, that’s all.

  10. I whole heartedly agree, we cannot allow immagrants to continue coming here to OUR home and ruining it for our families!! I am ready to March!! I am ready to go where ever needed to protect my country!!!

  11. Have the Dems lost their minds?? Our country cant afford all of the people that want in here!! Keep them out!! For all our sakes!! Build the wall, Please!!

  12. When are Americans going to be able to live safe lives without the caravaners invading America? It’s not easy because they want to come here and they are diseased and criminals. So fed up!

  13. Take them into your home and run the risks with your own family. You pay for all their housing, healthcare, education yourself. Most Americans have enough problems taking care of their own households to pay higher taxes to take care of illegals. Build the wall!

  14. This is why I keep telling people they have to vote in the PRIMARIES, too. In the primaries, we get to vote in NEW people. If too few people vote in the primaries, the people already in congress are the only ones left on the ballot in Nov. If you vote in the primaries, you are giving the new people a greater chance of winning. Our Presidents have up to 8 years in office. Many states do NOT have term limits for congress. One congressman just retired after 59 yrs and 21 days. He’s 87. Another one lasted 51 years, 5 months, 26 days. Length of term was January 3, 1959-June 28, 2010. If they can’t make it thru their full term, it’s time to retire. The average person, if they started at age 18 and works till they are 65; that’s only 47 years. They are suppose to represent their state. Not run the whole country! If your ballot does not have term limits, then you need to get out there and find someone who is running for congress who wants Term Limits.

    • They will NEVER vote for term limits. That is like leaving the wolf in charge of the sheepfold. YOU will have to enforce term limits through your own vote. NEVER vote for anyone TWICE. No matter their rhetoric, their promises, their impassioned pleas. They will be in there FOREVER and never represent YOU. They talk the talk but never walk the walk. They are all LIARS from the get-go looking for a cushy lifestyle at your expense.

    • We may have disease here in the country but do we need more? It’s like saying why clean house it’s only going to get dirty again! But the most important point is that they the illegals have diseases we eliminated years ago and bringing them back.
      You go ahead bring them into your home, go ahead, but don’t make decisions for me.

  15. Most of these illnesses are not serious health risks to Americans.. go ahead and turn away those that are. For those few perhaps there is a church organization that could help them. This headline greatly exaggerates the problem….

    • Take them into your home and run the risks with your own family. You pay for all their housing, healthcare, education yourself. Most Americans have enough problems taking care of their own households to pay higher taxes to take care of illegals. Build the wall!

    • You keep them, you sponsor them, and formost if they have illnesses you pay their medical bill, and another thing, if they commit a crime you do the time.

  16. Cost a lot more money to feed them here than cost of building the wall to end of these worrisome. What’s a stupid policy from those DEMONRATS just like Peplosi & Schuma !!!!

    • While these 2 Hippocrates demand open borders. Let these people come strolling in our country. While they live in huge Gated estates with armed security with them at a time.

  17. 2,267 of the 6,000 caravaners are suffering from serious health issues, including four confirmed cases of HIV/AIDS; four cases of chickenpox; three cases of tuberculosis; and more than 100 skin infections and lice infestations. So that’s 111 cases – so tested of the ones that arrived and were caught – what were the other 2,200 +/- cases? I would guess intestinal bugs from water contamination en route.. I agree with the Ellis Island health checks – and what did immigration say then? Were there quota’s – sorry all full go home? Or were all boats landing full of pre-booked immigrants known to be coming – paper work completed in their home nations – stamped for final approval at Ellis Island? What was the process – and perhaps price then? There was not “Medicare” or “Medicaid” then for anyone, so new guys take your chances with the rest of America?

    • My in-laws family left Russia and it took them a year by ox driven wagon, from there they went to Switzerland and lived there while all there documents were in order,then they applied and waited. They came by ship and when they arrived like I said, one Uncle was sick and turned away. They were let in at Ellis Island because their paper work was in order!
      They were all skilled and went to work right away. My father in law was 16, when WW2 broke out he joined the military and went to fight in France and who knows where else. When he returned he went to work for an Ad agency and worked in their illustration dept. He also worked as an artist. There he prospered and moved from Brooklyn and bought a house on Long Island where my husband grew up.
      My husband left and came to Arizona and his parents moved to Florida. They never got a Govt. hand out, all my father in law’s bros & sisters worked and became successful self supporting families. This was all in the mid 40’s and 50’s. Becoming citizens and assimilating, they raised their children the “American” way, voting, being self sufficient and loyal to America. They demanded nothing and worked their tails off. My husband is first generation American born here.
      Meanwhile here in Tucson Az,I am 5th generation American, my great grand daughter is the 8th Gen. all of us born here in Tucson. We have always been here.

  18. The disease that these caravaners bring worries me a lot too. It’s odd how my father in law’s family first came here in the 30’s one of their family members was turned away at Ellis Island for having an illness and so returned back to Europe. He returned back a year later with a clean bill of health. It could’ve been a bad cold or the flu but he was not let in.
    Now it’s like the democratic elite want to let these sick people in and risk our lives, my grand kids and great grand daughter, my own children and yours.
    Sure, the dem elite have a great health plan and money to afford expensive tests and treatments, but us peons? Not me and probably not you. As it is we have this mysterious Polio like disease affecting children and dooming them to possible death and at best to a lifetime of lameness just like Polio did in the 50’s.
    We must not let the democrats open our borders, if the bleeding liberal hearts want to march then maybe we should too, against this caravan.
    Now that I have suggested a march, lets see if I am censored for “suggesting violence”, which I am not. Just worried for my country and our citizens.

    • Polio is nothing to play with. My EX MIL had polio as a child she almost died and her legs didn’t grow right. She has 1 leg is longer than the other. So she has a very hard time getting around… These diseases mutate amongst the unvaccinated and become stronger. Now in my case I received a liver transplant a few years ago. I’m only 37 I have a compromised immune system. **Basically I don’t have one** It’s hard enough trying to live a normal life with all the precautions. But, now I have to worry a cureable childhood disease can take me out because the parent thinks they are bad. With not a single shred of evidence and clinical research. Not just transplant patients either.. there are alot of us out there.



  21. And there you have it kids, I posted about this about a week ago. Yea, lets let them in, pay for everything and let them contribute NOTHING to our society. Seems about right to me and the press made a big deal our of Trump calling these countries “shit” holes and now they even say in so many words that he was right because that is why they are trying to leave their home SH’s. Asylum my ass, its about the money and they want it.

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