‘I believe this is probably the record, you know, Border Patrol-wide, since ever, of agents calling in sick’
By Adan Zalazar
More agents than ever before are calling in sick to work or showing up sick, says a Border Patrol union representative who worries too many agents are succumbing to illnesses brought by illegal aliens.
Carlos Favela, president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 1929, says the number of agents affected by illnesses has reached alarming levels in recent years, with an estimated 20 to 25 agents from the El Paso sector calling in sick each day, while others come in to work sick because they’ve used up their sick days.
“I believe this is probably the record, you know, Border Patrol-wide, since ever, of agents calling in sick,” Favela told ABC-7.
According to Favela, numerous agents are filing union reports claiming they’ve contracted everything from the H1N1 virus to chicken pox to Legionnaires’ disease after coming in contact with sick illegals encountered at the border.
Favela says agents are concerned they could infect their family members with infectious diseases such as tuberculosis.
“The nightmare for the agent out in the field,” said Favela, “is that they contract tuberculosis or some kind of bacterial disease and they unknowingly take that home to their families and then their whole family is sick.”
To the border union president, the increase in sick agents coincides with the number of illegals arriving at the border.
KVIA reports, “Newly-released figures from the Department of Homeland Security reveal Border Patrol agents encountered 109,144 migrants in April 2019, the highest since 2007.”
Favela argues it’s hard to get the evidence needed to quantify the issue and prove a correlation, but he pushes back against Border Patrol officials who say they haven’t noticed the trend.
“That’s false,” he said. “Ever since the big surge of the immigrants started coming in, even as far back as September, we started seeing those numbers slightly increase – of agents calling in sick.”
The border rep is urging the CDC to implement changes to better protect agents’ health, including providing more screenings from doctors instead of nurses and new quarantine facilities for sick illegals.