Having a moderately effective public health system has made Americans forget that a major function of borders has been to keep out communicable disease. In the Godfather II film, young Vito Corleone is quarantined for three months because he is feared to have smallpox.
That fictional story was realistically set in 1901, but nowadays we imagine our amazing medical advances allow us to ignore the necessity of quarantine, which seems so antiquated. Or at least that’s what the administration wants us to think — anything to maintain open borders.
In fact, public health is not on the to-do list for this administration at all, to judge from the continuing unrestricted entry of persons coming from the ebola hot zone via airports, not to mention the open southern border.