The New York Democrat has a "three-point plan" of attack to build a "firewall" that will prevent an outbreak of the mosquito-borne illness from spreading across our mainland. He's armed with big charts and jabby index fingers, too. Allons!
Five cases of the Zika virus have been identified in the Empire State alone. The CDC says a total of 31 Americans in 11 states and Washington, D.C., have been identified as carriers who brought the miserable disease in from abroad.
The feds' don't worry-be-happy health bureaucrats emphasize that these are "isolated" incidents that can be contained by simply avoiding travel to hotspots like Brazil, where the disease has been linked to an explosion of microcephaly among an estimated 4,000 babies.
But on Tuesday, Dallas County, Texas, reported the first case in a resident based here in the continental U.S. who contracted the condition "through sexual contact with someone who had visited a Zika-endemic country," according to health officials.
When people in Washington tell you not to worry, be alarmed.
I know I'm not the only one who sniggered at the spectacle of the Senate's leading Gang of Eight immigration expansionists now playing Chicken Little about global communicable diseases.
Newsflash: The sky has already fallen. The barn door can't -- or rather, won't -- be closed by those scrambling in front of the cameras to grab headlines about the latest panic du jour. The fundamental policy dissonance is lost on tin-eared Schumer: While he makes theatrical grand gestures to stop foreign viruses from entering through the front porch, he and his amnesty-promoting pals in both parties have left the side and back entries swinging wide open for illegal immigration.
People from Central and South America, ground zero for Zika and other infectious diseases including tuberculosis, dengue, Chagas, Chikungunya and schistosomiasis, make up nearly 15 percent of the illegal immigrant population in the U.S. They flooded the border in record numbers in 2013 as Schumer and company were pushing mass amnesty on Capitol Hill -- and as President Obama was implementing blanket deportation freezes in advance of his executive illegal immigrant waiver policies.
The Democrat-manufactured border surge ushered in a resurgence of tropical diseases across the Southwest. Meanwhile, laborers here illegally and amnestied migrants who have never been screened for disease obtained Obama work permits to hold low-wage jobs in places like Chipotle, which shut down scores of its restaurants over the past three months after two separate E. coli outbreaks.
Now comes news from Texas governor Greg Abbott and Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, that the Obama Department of Homeland Security plans to cut back aerial monitoring of the southern border by 50 percent. The Texas Tribune reports that the cutback coincides with a new surge in illegal crossings of the Rio Grande.
"From October to December of 2015," the paper reported, "about 10,560 unaccompanied minors entered Texas illegally through the Rio Grande Valley sector of the U.S. Border Patrol. That marks a 115 percent increase over the same time frame in 2014." With spring just around the corner, those numbers will swell again.
And the illegal immigrant border surge will only be strengthened (and public health risks increased) if Obama gives in to left-wing immigrant groups lobbying the White House to extend "Temporary Protected Status" en masse to upwards of 750,000 Central Americans purportedly fleeing violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
TPS is a special amnesty program originally intended as a short-term humanitarian program. As usual, "temporary" means permanent. Example? In 2014, the White House extended TPS status and employment permits for an estimated 90,000 Hondurans and Nicaraguans here illegally "for an additional 18 months, effective Jan. 6, 2015, through July 5, 2016." Who are these TPS winners? They've been here since 1998 -- when Hurricane Mitch hit their homeland. That was 18 years ago. Their "temporary" status has been renewed more than a dozen times since the Clinton administration first bestowed it.
One of the biggest champions of the fraud-riddled, illegal immigration-incentivizing TPS program? Chicken Little Chuckie Schumer.
The Beltway posturing of open-borders engineers is enough to make you sick.