American Politics

Dozens of Border Agents Falling Ill Due To Toxic Mexican Sewage #Mexico #immigration

Dozens of Border Agents Falling Ill Due To Toxic Mexican Sewage

Thanks to the corrupt and lazy Mexican government, U.S. Border agents are reporting a plethora of health problems because Mexico refuses to upgrade the sewage treatment plant in Tijuana.

Thanks to their refusal to increase capacity of the plant, spills of raw sewage and chemicals are a regular ocurrance, and this February was no different, when in February, an estimated 143 million gallons of Mexican sewage spilled into the Tijuana River Valley they patrol.

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Battling chemical warfare because of Mexicans too lazy to fix a sewage plant is not a risk that border agents are expecting to deal with, said Christopher Harris, a union representative for National Border Patrol Council’s Local 1613.

“They’re willing to put up with the normal hazards of law enforcement,” Harris said. “We understand that’s part of our job. We get shot at. We accept all that. We do our best to mitigate it. We wear vests. We have trauma kits. But we can’t mitigate sewage and chemicals.”

Harris has been doing everything he can to alert administrators at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, so they will take steps to protect his agents from the Mexican toxins that regularly pollute the valley.

In June alone, he documented more than 30 agents who had reported sewage-related illnesses. Since then, that number has nearly tripled, to at least 83 agents.

The sewage leak in February and subsequent leaks flowed into the Tijuana River Valley Regional Park, which covers 71.5 miles of dirt roads and paths.

The toxic muck sticks around for a long time as it makes its way to the ocean. It settles into the riverbanks, overflows during rains and dries out in hot weather. It is impossible for Border Patrol agents to avoid.

While patrolling on their ATVs on Nov. 10 after a rainstorm, Harris said three agents experienced ear, nose and throat problems. One said he had a strange rash inside his nose.

Border Patrol Agent Joel Sevilla said that in the summer he had to patrol areas where much of the sewage flowed.

“I had a really bad nasal infection, headaches and trouble breathing…. I was losing my breath really fast,” he said. “I’m not known for that because I’m very active. So I had to go to the doctor’s and the first time I went, they said that I had a nasal infection. They gave me some antibiotics and they treated it and it went away for like two or three days. Then it started happening again…. What was worse were the headaches because I couldn’t sleep.”

Sevilla went back to the doctor four or five times. He had to leave the prestigious ATV unit and now patrols in an SUV.

The International Boundary and Water Commission is in charge of documenting each spill. A branch of the State Department with approximately 250 employees, it is charged with developing binational solutions to issues that arise on sanitation, water quality and flood control in the border region.

The commission has an office in San Diego and runs the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant at the U.S.-Mexico border. Completed in 1997, the facility treats 25 million gallons of Tijuana sewage per day.

However, the plant can’t treat all the sewage flowing across the border. Tijuana’s population – which officially stands at 1.56 million, but unofficially may be as high as 2 million – has outpaced the city’s ability to provide adequate and updated sewage infrastructure. As a consequence, sewage spills occur frequently.

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Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
December 4th, 2017

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