The vice chairman of the Maine Republican Party, Nick Isgro, is under fire for inveighing against open borders and the health problems that unvaccinated migrants from Third World countries are bringing with them to America.
This blowback against Isgro is part of the Left’s ongoing effort to stigmatize conservatives by presenting their views as abnormal, antisocial, racist, and xenophobic. Isgro hasn’t said anything millions of conservatives haven’t said before, but the open-borders movement and its attack dogs in both political parties are always on the lookout for new scalps.
Some Republicans like Maine Senate Minority Leader Dana Dow attack Isgro for standing up for America and American values, while others praise him for his principled stands. Isgro, who said he has received “a massive outcry of support,” is also mayor of Waterville, Maine. He survived a recall election in June.
Isgro said he wrote the controversial tweets “to open a dialogue concerning all of the things that are in play when affecting public health policy.”
As the father of five children, I know exactly what it’s like to be a parent up in the middle of the night, with a child with high fever and wondering if things are going to be okay. It angers me to see families like mine attacked for simply wanting to do with [sic] they know what is best for their own children rather than the government. Families should be engaged and respected – not attacked. [M]y own family will always be my first priority and I will continue to defend the families of Maine and their freedoms.
Senate Republicans reportedly demanded that “swift action” be taken against Isgro. Dow said March 18 that he did not approve of Isgro’s statements and was “in the process of taking some actions.” Later that day, Isgro issued a statement in which he made it clear that his tweets, although published on the Maine Republican Party’s Twitter page, “came from me and not the GOP at large.”
A hatchet job of a report by Rachel Ohm in the Waterville-based Morning Sentinel attempts to turn Isgro into a caricature. She writes that Isgro “falsely blamed immigrants for outbreaks of infectious diseases.”
But there is more to the real story than Ohm’s simplistic telling of it.
Using the Maine Republican Party’s account, Isgro tweeted three times on March 14.
The first tweet reads:
We need a serious talk not only about vaccination but migration. Portland, & many US cities, have homeless crises driven by asylum claims & a record number of migrants crossing the border from countries lacking vaccinations. This causes certain diseases to return. 1/3 #mepolitics[.]
The second tweet reads:
.@GovJanetMills & far-left elites are reacting to this with demands for more vaccines for #Maine citizens and demands that Maine families relinquish their longstanding natural rights-despite the risk of over-vaccination-to please financial backers. Wrong policy. 2/3 #mepolitics[.]
The third tweet reads:
Even in states with strict vaccination laws, like California, near-extinct diseases are making a comeback. To protect Mainers & Americans, we need a pause on migration from countries that haven’t eradicated these diseases until we can figure out what is going on. 3/3 #mepolitics[.]
Isgro’s statements are well within the conservative mainstream and not much different from President Trump’s.
Trump has said a border wall is needed to prevent a “tremendous medical problem” related to the flow of migrants into the U.S.
“One of the problems that people don’t talk about, you have a tremendous medical problem coming into our country,” Trump said in December. “Tremendous problems. People don’t want to talk about it.”
Contrary to open-borders propaganda and mainstream media disinformation, these concerns are legitimate.
Andrew R. Arthur, Resident Fellow in Law and Policy at the nonpartisan Center for Immigration Studies who served eight years as an Immigration Judge, wrote in a report that Americans are right to be concerned about the importation of diseases.
In fiscal 2018 the Yuma Border Patrol Sector of the United States Border Patrol in Arizona apprehended 1,700 aliens who required medical care, Arthur wrote.
Aliens “show up sick, particularly children, some of whom are suffering from illnesses not generally seen in modern American society, including mumps, measles, and tuberculosis, as well as others with influenza, scabies, and other skin diseases.”
Arthur makes it clear he is opposed to border-busting caravans and unlawful entry into the United States, not to immigration in general.
None of this should be understood as a stigmatization of children or of migrants from Central America. Regular immigration, in which a foreign national obtains a visa from a U.S. consulate abroad and travels to this country through a port of entry, however, provides for the screening of foreign nationals before they arrive in this country and interact with the public, including other foreign nationals lawfully present.
Irregular migration, on the other hand, by which a foreign national enters the United States illegally between the ports of entry, does not provide any of those safeguards. Once they are here, they are here, regardless of whether they are apprehended and detained, or make their way to their final destinations without apprehension.
Arthur recounts an article by Peter Edelstein, M.D., in Psychology Today in January 2017.
In the end, it is hard to completely ignore the health risks posed by those whose entry into the country avoids medical examination and treatment. Whether you sit on the ‘build a wall’ end of the spectrum or the ‘they’re just seeking a better life’ end, accepting that treatable major health risks are freely entering into our general population is an unwise strategy, regardless of your political leaning (assuming those risks are meaningful, a debate we can have).
Few have considered the issues raised by Edelstein, Arthur writes.
“The danger posed by communicable diseases … is yet another reason to discourage a wave of aliens who are only apprehended after they have entered the United States, as we have seen in recent months. Especially from places that have recently been under ‘medical state[s] of emergency’ for contagious diseases.”
There is plenty of evidence that illegal aliens are bringing illnesses into America.
As of March 7, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had 2,287 detainees in quarantine for infectious diseases including mumps.
“The numbers of immigrants in custody with a contagious diseases [sic] has spiked in the past year,” CNN reports. “For the previous two years, the agency has not encountered a single case of mumps among its detainees.”
“In the past 12 months, there have been health investigations at 51 ICE detention facilities for mumps, chickenpox and influenza,” according to an ICE spokesman. “There have been 236 reported cases of mumps, with another 16 suspected cases during this time period.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that “[t]ravelers with measles continue to bring the disease into the U.S.” So far this year the CDC has confirmed 268 individual cases of measles in 15 states, including three states that border Mexico (Arizona, California, and Texas).
Nick Isgro has the facts on his side, but when have facts ever mattered to leftists and open-borders fanatics?
Photo credit: Morning Sentinel file photo by Michael G. Seamans.