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A porous border policy

Melvin B. Miller

Civilized nations have a practice of providing asylum for those fleeing from danger. In practice, the policy provides shelter for victims of earthquakes and other natural disasters, as well as shelter for those who are victimized by tyrannical governments. But the demand for accommodation of the innumerable migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border seems to be much more than a legitimate request for shelter.

A major provision of the principle of asylum is that the danger provoking the original flight is over when another nation provides safety or will do so. Thereafter, entry to a different nation will be determined by their laws. According to reports, thousands of migrants are waiting in El Paso for the elimination of Rule 42, which could end an early rejection of admission to the U.S. for health reasons.

Understandably, migrant rights activists support the elimination of Rule 42. They assert that Rule 42 is not required by health problems and is a device of racists and Republicans to keep Latinos and Blacks out of the country. Undoubtedly, conservatives are delighted that Rule 42 helps their cause, but Blacks and Latino operatives in the U.S. must not forget who their primary clients are.

According to a recent New York Times report, deaths of older Americans from COVID are rising because many people over 70 have failed to get their booster shots. While 94% of people 65 and over have had their initial Covid vaccine, only 36% have had their booster. Now people over 70 are being admitted to hospitals at a rate four times higher than the general population.

Everyone should sympathize with migrants who have been unable to thrive in their countries of origin, but it is inadvisable to enable them to enter the U.S., where elderly citizens might be vulnerable to COVID. It is estimated that if Rule 42 is lifted, there would be 12,000 illegal border crossings a day, all without assurance that they have no Covid infection.

border policy, COVID, editorial, migrants, Rule 42, U.S.-Mexico border
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