Can Sanctuary cities keep our children safe? An Update

by | Oct 16, 2023 | Biological, CBRNE, Chemical / Biological, Posts - Natural Hazards, Public Health

Originally posted to LinkedIn in April, this update reflects the large increase in Tuberculosis we predicted at the time:

One hundred ten thousand immigrants have arrived in New York City over the last two years, placing a large burden on the city’s housing, public education, and healthcare systems. As has been argued by Mayor Adams, the cost of these additional migrants will exceed $12 billion over the next few years; money that will be needed from the Federal government, and without which it will Destroy New York City.  In our mind, this should have easily been predicted given the sanctuary city stance and long lead time to where we are today.

We will focus on public health and education for the remainder of this post, as we feel that the priority should be keeping the million+ K-12 students safe.

At issue is keeping the overall school population healthy while introducing 21,000+ unvaccinated migrant students. By law, according to NY DOH, all students attending school in New York State must be immunized Against:

  • Vaccines for Children (ages 4 to 18 years)
    • Flu vaccine
    • Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis combination vaccines (DTaP, and Tdap)
    • Tetanus and diphtheria vaccine (Td)
    • Hemophilus influenza type b vaccine (Hib, for children age 4+)
    • Hepatitis A vaccine
    • Hepatitis B vaccine
    • Human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV)
    • Inactivated polio vaccine (for children through age 17)
    • Measles, mumps, and rubella combination vaccine (MMR)
    • Meningococcal vaccine
    • Pneumococcal vaccine
    • Varicella vaccine

In addition to mandatory ones, several other diseases have crossed the border, including TB, syphilis, gonorrhea, HIV, and Hanson’s disease.

In our opinion, no new students should be admitted without screening and basic immunizations. In addition, we believe the number of locations to screen and immunize should be increased to many more than the three mentioned by the NYC Health Department, and they should operate 12 hours a day seven days a week with no holidays, i.e., in Emergency Mode to prevent the city from being destroyed. A major initiative should be undertaken using ALL available infrastructure including public-private partnerships, i.e., all hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and even the New York National Guard Medical Units, mobilized to provide screening and vaccinations in coordination with hospitals and ambulatory clinics. Until all migrant students are vaccinated, the current system is operating illegally in spirit, if not by the letter of the law.

However, just as we need to vastly increase efforts to solve the problem, instead of ramping up the effort, the NYC government is cutting overtime budgets for police officers and most other city agencies, including sanitation and education, exacerbating the problems and making it virtually impossible to provide the educational services assumed to be available to both citizens and migrants. Those assumptions have been made based on sanctuary city protection policies since Mayor Bill Dr Blasio signed an executive order (#41) in 2014.

The joint commission logoSince taking office, Mayor Eric Adams has had more than a year to predict the consequences of remaining a sanctuary city facing the developing financial crisis, and railing about the need for $12B to transition the migrants with a lack of Federal financial support. Without decisive action, Mr. Adams will struggle with this calamity for the rest of his term and pass it on as his legacy to the next administration.

This discussion is timely; dozens of other cities declared themselves sanctuary cities, knowing the potential legal and financial consequences, now face similar overwhelming problems. This is another example that Congress needs to set aside partisan differences and pass legislation to reform immigration. Meanwhile, cities like New York, LA, Chicago, Houston, and others will live with the current nightmare until it is fixed.

In our opinion, New York needs to address this emergency by taking the following steps:

  • Support stopping the flow of illegal immigrants at the border. We have been trying this for decades unsuccessfully, yet millions have entered and continue to enter the country illegally every year. New York claims 10,000+ new migrants monthly.
  • Support that all immigrants should be medically tested at the border and those infected should be denied entry, with special emphasis on “Pandemic-related†diseases.
  • A robust and effective student Screening/Vaccination Program should be applied immediately and operated in “Crisis Mode†(12 hours x 7 days).
  • Enforce the existing Policy where no students can attend the New York School System without the full set of vaccinations required by Law.

Mr. Adams claims that New York is the “Welcome Mat to the globe†and that New York will operate as a sanctuary city. Under the current circumstances, these objectives may be incompatible. As usual, we dont need new laws, we need to enforce existing ones.

Please feel free to comment with ideas to solve the issues.

Stay Safe,

James Jim Blair -LFACHE, DPA, MHA

Update October 16, 2023: A 20% increase in Tuberculosis cases in New York City Year to Year

According to a recent article in Politico

NEW YORK: The understaffed agency charged with monitoring tuberculosis in New York City is struggling to respond to new cases,  fueling fears of a resurgence decades after the nation got TB under control.

The city has confirmed about 500 cases of active tuberculosis this year, an increase of roughly 20 percent from last year, according to internal preliminary data reviewed by POLITICO. That rate would make it the worst year in a decade.

What Next?

The joint commission logoAs suggested above, Public Health clinics should operate at emergency levels to track and trace migrants for mandatory vaccinations and add TB to the list. Not only for children but for all 2.4 million migrants crossing the border and heading straight for major cities, the Public Health of over 300M Americans precedes the unconditional support of unregistered immigrants.

Stay Safe,


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