Stupid Border Guard Thought TB Warning Didn`t Apply To Him
June 01, 2007, 03:08 PM
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One of the key — but little-discussed — points about the Senate's comprehensive-capitulation-to-Mexico immigration bill, S.1348, is that it will probably collapse the already-overwhelmed bureaucracy at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), one glamorous branch in our esteemed Department of Homeland Security. For details, see Kris Kobach's timely article, "Rx for Breakdown," (New York Post, 5/27/2007).

Now the adventures of Andrew Speaker, the lawyer with the world-class case of tuberculosis, reveal that employees at USCIS sister branch Customs and Border Protection (CBP) may not all be among the sharpest knives in the drawer. In an Associated Press article "Border worker disregarded TB warning," wherein we learn the latest on Speaker's concerted nonchalance about possibly spreading his TB around, we also read of some unnamed border inspector's matching insouciance:

"A globe-trotting Atlanta lawyer with a dangerous strain of tuberculosis was allowed back into the U.S. by a border inspector who disregarded a computer warning to stop him and don protective gear, officials said Thursday. The inspector has been removed from border duty.

"The unidentified inspector explained that he was no doctor but that the infected man seemed perfectly healthy and that he thought the warning was merely 'discretionary,' officials briefed on the case told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter is still under investigation.

[snip]

"The inspector ran Speaker's passport through a computer, and a warning — including instructions to hold the traveler, don a protective mask in dealing with him, and telephone health authorities — popped up, officials said. About a minute later, Speaker was instead cleared to continue on his journey, according to officials familiar with the records.

"The Homeland Security Department is investigating.

"The border officer 'who questioned that person is at present performing administrative duties,' said Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke, adding that the officer is not checking people at the land border crossing."

I just hope I never need anything administered by that officer.

The officer's "This warning doesn't apply to me" modus operandi brings to mind a P. J. O'Rourke quote, from his book Parliament Of Whores. "For chrissake, the federal government can't even deliver mail, and how hard is that? The stuff's got our address right on it and everything."