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Why America cannot restrict Swine Flu from getting into its borders

The new threat of a mysterious swine flu virus is spreading like wild fire across the globe. Among the countries affected greatly are Mexico and its neighboring superpower, the United States. It bothers me to hear every agency and institution preparing for its spread almost everyday. In the state where I am situated right now, we almost await for it with open hands because its neighbors, Georgia and South Carolina, have already claimed to have traces of the flu. Although as of this time, only one case of a 22-month Mexican boy in the state of Texas has been recorded, it is alarming to note that the national scene is focused on the threat of registering more casualties.

The international news also describe how measures are taken by various countries in order to protect their citizens from the deadly virus. Japan, for example, has stopped issuing visas to Mexican applicants (sorry, Mexico). A couple of Latin American countries have suspended flights coming from countries where increasing cases have been recorded.

The Philippines may not at all be left behind because you can't leave the Ninoy Aquino International Airport without having your temperature automatically checked by sensors. But not every citizen can afford medical facilities like vaccines and masks in case the situation aggravates.

There is much to be expected with the United States. The health institution has initiated measures, beginning from health education campaigns related to hand washing and the covering of the mouth when sneezing, to preparation of vaccines that may, at least, boost the immune system.

But can America really curtail the coming of the virus of death to the homeland?

Not at all, said in chorus by Time Magazine sources of varying expertise. But what gives me pleasure to note is the fact that, sociologically, migration is one carrier that can never be stopped. If Mexican residents crossing the American borders, for example, will be absolutely restricted, what will happen to the giant truckloads of produces being imported by the United States from Latin America via Mexico on a regular basis? Economically, an already ailing poverty-stricken country haunted by the pangs of recession will suffer excessively.

The issue here is not simply about depriving illegal and undocumented aliens from entering the US. It is about how dependent the US is to its neighbors in terms of natural resources and raw materials that feed its population on a daily basis.

On one final note, can the US predict the containment of the flu? If immigration and importation issues can be answered tomorrow, the same question will be answered on that same day.


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