Top News, Articles, and Interviews in Philosophy

Migration & Disease

Philosophy News image
One stock racist rhetorical tool is to use the stereotype that migrants carry disease to generate fear of migration. This well-worn tool has most recently been deployed against the “migrant caravan” that became a fixation of Trump. Somewhat ironically, migrants to the United States make up 16% of healthcare workers, including 29% of physicians and 24% of dentists. As such, while there is little chance that a migrant will bring a disease into the United States, there is a good chance that one will provide your healthcare. Because of these facts, using disease as a reason to limit migration would seem to be irrational. While someone might advance the reason in sincere ignorance rather than from racism, it is primarily a tool of baseless fear and racism. But, is it true that migrants present no health risks? Image Credit If the safety standard is that migrants must present zero health risk, then this standard obviously cannot be met: there is a non-zero chance that a migrant will have an illness that gets passed on to American. As such, it could be truly said that migration does increase the number of cases of illness in a country: more than zero migrants will be ill when they enter, and more than zero Americans will catch some illness from migrants. However, this hardly warrants regarding migrants as health threat. After all, there are non-zero cases in which a migrant saves a life or does something else heroic. But it would be odd to speak of the great promise of a wave of migrant heroism—except in the economic sense. Likewise, speaking of the threat of a wave of migrant disease would be odd and unfounded. It might be objected that my lack of terror about diseased migrants entails that I favor open borders and support allowing people to simply flow into the United States without regulation and without any health concerns. My easy and obvious reply is that my lack of terror about diseased immigrants entails nothing about my view of immigration policy or. . .

Continue reading . . .

News source: A Philosopher's Blog

blog comments powered by Disqus