While California Gov. Gavin Newsom and many of his fellow
Democrats continue to push for "open borders," COVID-19 cases are
increasing along our southern border, straining local medical facilities in Southern
California and beyond.
The respected Wall Street Journal reported last week that
hospitals in the border city of Chula Vista, Calif., "are struggling to
cope with a large number of COVID-19 patients, an influx they attribute to
legal crossings from Tijuana, one of Mexico's cities hardest hit by the coronavirus
pandemic." Although the medical crisis along the border isn't attributed
to illegal immigrants – excuse me, undocumented workers – you can understand
how "open borders" would exacerbate the problem. In March, before the
U.S. closed the border to non-essential travelers, more than 531,000
pedestrians and some 1.6 million vehicle passengers crossed the border into San
Diego County at San Ysidro.
"Scripps Health says it is near capacity for patients
with COVID-19… at its Chula Vista hospital," the Wall Street Journal
article continued. "Sharp HealthCare, which owns Chula Vista's largest
hospital, had to turn away ambulances during some busy days in April," the
Journal added, describing Tijuana as "a magnet for Mexican and foreign
migrants seeking to enter the U.S…" Is it ever!
"San Diego County has the third highest number of coronavirus
cases in California, behind only populous Los Angeles and Riverside counties,”
the Journal continued. "Chula Vista and nearby communities have the
highest rate of infections per 100,000 people and the number has been rising … The
crisis south of San Diego illustrates a new threat: that Mexico's struggles to
tackle the pandemic could spill over into the U.S." Apparently, however,
it already has.
Meanwhile, Newsom and open borders advocates want to roll
out the welcome mat for millions of illegal immigrants, and give them millions,
or even billions, of taxpayer dollars worth of "free" benefits,
including health care, not to mention "sanctuary city" policies that
encourage more illegal immigration. President Trump has threatened to withhold
federal aid from sanctuary cities and I think he should because those cities
are openly violating our immigration laws.
States and cities – including Los Angeles, San Francisco,
Seattle and Portland – that welcome illegal immigrants should pay the price for
doing so and not look to the federal government for multi-million or
billion-dollar bailouts. Carlos Mora, founder of the Migrant Affairs Council in
Baja California, Mexico, told the Journal that "some migrants deported
from the U.S. have tested positive for COVID-19." My guess is that
"some" could mean hundreds, or even thousands of illegal immigrants.
In a joint statement issued in March by the Mexican and U.S.
governments, both governments recognized "the need for a dedicated joint
effort to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and address the economic
effects resulting from reduced mobility (that is, tougher border controls)
along our shared border." That sounds fine but I'm pleased that
construction is moving forward on Trump's "big, beautiful" border
wall that Mexico was going to pay for. Remember that whopper?
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf visited Arizona
last week to check on border wall construction. He found that 181 miles of
walls ranging in height from 18 to 30 feet have been erected along our southern
border since Trump took office in January, 2017, and 190 miles more are
currently under construction. That's good news for those of us who believe in
secure borders and the Rule of Law.
I'm glad the federal government is paying attention to our
southern border during the coronavirus crisis because public safety is a top
Guy W. Farmer is the Appeal's senior political columnist.