US-Mexico Border Hit With Public Health Crisis

( – Since President Biden was elected, our border with Mexico has been a running sore for his administration thanks to the illegal immigration crisis he’s triggered. It turns out that isn’t the only problem in the region, though. Health experts are now warning that vast floods of pollution, a mix of raw sewage and industrial waste, are flowing from Mexico into US waters — and putting lives in danger.

Toxic Flood Threatens California

The Tijuana River rises in the hills of Mexico’s Ensenada region and flows northwest for almost 120 miles before crossing the US border just five miles before it empties into the sea. Those last few miles of the river are important for the ecology of San Diego County, California; its waters supply the last unspoiled coastal wetlands in the county. Unfortunately, as its name suggests, it runs through Tijuana, Mexico’s second-largest city, and by the time it enters the US, it’s seriously polluted.

A new report from San Diego State University says the water that flows from Tijuana into the US and enters the ocean at Imperial Beach is “severely contaminated by untreated sewage, industrial waste, and urban run-off.” As Imperial Beach is a popular tourist destination, this is a major issue. The city’s beaches have some of the best surfing in California — but they have been regularly closed by pollution for well over two years.

The report’s authors warned that Mexican pollution poses “unusual threats” to health. These include human and livestock diseases that have been eradicated in California but are still common in Mexico, including antibiotic-resistant bacteria, as well as industrial chemicals that can’t be discharged into rivers in the US but regularly are in Mexico.

Pollution in the Tijuana River is so bad because Mexico’s infrastructure can’t handle the city’s growing population and industry. Unfortunately, this means most of the river’s length is exposed to massive contamination, which all then flows through the San Diego wetlands and Imperial Beach.

The report warns that it isn’t just surfers and beachgoers who’re being exposed to this pollution; toxic chemicals are also contaminating the air, and everyone in the area is at risk from disease and parasites. As well as the city of Imperial Beach there’s a major military helicopter base in the city that’s part of Naval Base Coronado, which among other things is the home of the Navy SEALs.

A lot of US citizens, including thousands of our military personnel, are being put in danger by the filthy waters of the Tijuana River. Six years ago, the city of Imperial Beach and the Port of San Diego sued the International Boundary Water Commission, the US-Mexican body that’s responsible for cross-border pollution, and Mexico promised to spend millions on reducing the pollution — but it appears to be as bad as ever, and nobody seems to have a solution.

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