Democratic Govs. Bill Richardson of New Mexico and Janet Napolitano of Arizona have declared a state of emergency and asked for federal help to deal with the costs of the violence and property damage caused by illegal immigrants coming over their southern borders. If President Bush lets these partisan Democrats get to the right of him on the immigration issue, all Republicans will suffer in the next election.
Dr. Madeleine Cosman is a national authority on the diseases brought into the United States by illegal immigrants, who of course are not given health examinations required of all legal immigrants. Apparently, some people would like to prevent her from presenting her message to the public.
Along with Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., and several California public officials, she was scheduled to speak at the Carlsbad Cultural Center on Aug. 11 in a forum called Defense of Our Nation Begins at Our Borders. The high school facility in Carlsbad, Calif., broke its contract for the event because of threats from immigration activists, and only a timely lawsuit persuaded the center to allow the event to take place.
The anti-free-speech activists didn't go away quietly. An estimated 150 protesters using bullhorns, mostly Hispanic and some Muslims in headscarves or burkas, did their best to disrupt the meeting and scare attendees. It took 150 police officers in full gear with face shields and automatic weapons, plus SWAT team members in black tank-like vehicles, to keep the demonstrators at bay.
The message Cosman delivered to a standing-room-only crowd should be heard by all Americans. She spoke about the 84 California hospitals that closed between 1994 and 2003 because the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act requires every emergency room to treat every patient coming with an "emergency" (including childbirth) even if unable to pay and even if illegally in the United States.
The law is tough; hospitals and doctors are fined up to $50,000 for refusing to treat. This unfunded federal mandate has caused dozens of hospitals to go bankrupt.
Cosman, who is both a Ph.D. and a lawyer, described the infectious diseases now spreading across the United States. Contagious diseases that our country wiped out years ago, such as malaria, polio, tuberculosis, and hepatitis, and rare diseases of Third World poverty such as leprosy, Chagas' disease, and dengue fever, are coming in.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported 38,291 California cases of tuberculosis that included multiple drug resistant tuberculosis, which is 60 percent fatal and for which treatment costs $200,000 to $1,200,000 per patient.
Illegal immigrants are also bringing in syphilis and gonorrhea.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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