A Border Patrol agent from the Laredo, Texas, Sector has been hospitalized for seven days with bacterial pneumonia, which the agent contracted while processing illegal immigrants, officials from National Border Patrol Council 2455 tell National Review Online.
Agent Jarrad Seely, vice president of NBPC 2455, says the agent is expected to have chronic asthmatic symptoms for life, according to information relayed by the agent. The illness has so swollen the agent’s throat that it’s difficult for the agent to speak, Seely says.
“It’s a very traumatic experience for [the agent] and [the agent’s] family,” he says. “[The agent’s] got small children.” He says that it’s too soon to tell if the agent will be able to make a full recovery and return to work, and says the agent was healthy prior to processing the immigrants.
“Our agents have been getting sick more often than before with flus and congestion and a whole bunch of respiratory illnesses,” says Hector Garza, the secretary and treasurer of NBPC 2455. “The processing room was severely overcrowded and that just made [it] the perfect breeding ground for these diseases.” Garza says he and other Border Patrol officials have had to communicate indirectly with the agent, via the family, because of the agent’s inability to speak.
Seely says the Laredo Sector has recently had illegal immigrants arrive with active cases of tuberculosis, scabies, lice and chicken pox.