(NaturalNews) It's not a hurricane, a massive tornado or a major earthquake, the wave of children that is currently overwhelming some southwest border states, but at least one law enforcement official is nonetheless calling it a "natural disaster" that is on par with Hurricane Katrina.
Nearly 1,000 illegal immigrants a day are flooding Texas; more are flooding Arizona.
"How do you prepare for that?" Don Ray, the Executive Director of the Texas Border Sheriffs Coalition, asked CBS DFW. "You can't have an influx of people like that without having an impact; I think we saw that after Katrina. It's relocation services that are really taking place. In the case of Katrina, most of them were United States citizens or people that were here lawfully, and now you have people that aren't here lawfully."
He added that, with the kind of influx of people currently crossing into the state illegally from various points south of the border, there are major new concerns about public health.
"You have that many people in one place -- you have the potential for illnesses that could spread that could have an impact on the local community," Ray said.
'You never know what they're bringing in'
Some diseases could spread quickly, and that's even more of a concern in Nogales, Arizona, where most of the illegal immigrations detained recently in Texas are being shipped to temporary housing and processing facilities.
"When you put 1,000 or 1,500 people in just some little facility and they just came from another country, you never know what they're bringing into the country," observed Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
What's more, the cost of any outbreak will be borne by U.S. taxpayers, not those from neighboring countries.
Recently, the consul of Honduras to Arizona said illegal immigrants have been complaining that they are getting sick from the food they've been given at the detention facilities in Nogales. That hasn't sat well with Arpaio and others who are fed up with the waves of illegal immigration -- and the Obama administration's seeming lack of concern about it.
"They're complaining yeah, but why don't they compare what's going on here to the country they came from," says Arpaio. "That's why they're coming here because of the bad conditions in other countries like Honduras and Guatemala."
Others point out that bad food -- if it's really even that bad -- might not be an issue if they'd have stayed put in their own countries. And they add that it is better than not being fed at all.
Meanwhile, officials at the National Border Patrol Union have said that conditions are improving at the detention facilities.
"I talked to the local union president there yesterday... and he told me that the conditions are getting better now that there are Coast Guard and FEMA doctors in place and they are monitoring everyone's health," Shawn Moran, the Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council, said. "To be honest, he said the biggest complaint the detainees have is that they don't like their flour tortillas -- they prefer corn tortillas with their food."
'They just keep coming back'
The Department of Homeland Security began transferring illegal immigrants from Texas to Arizona from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas last month after the number of immigrants, including more than 48,000 children, began to overwhelm Border Patrol and law enforcement personnel.
After being released in Arizona, illegal immigrant families were merely instructed to report to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office within 15 days -- on trust. But Arpaio says he doesn't believe that that's actually happening, at least in a majority of cases.
"In our jails, we found that about 2,000 inmates in the past several months are in jail for several state crimes, but they're here illegally and we found out that over and over again they're being released to ICE and they keep coming back," said Arpaio. "So that tells you either they're being led out the back door or they're being deported and they're still coming across the border. So that's sad when you have so many illegal aliens that committed crimes, that you have turned over and yet what happens to them, they just commit other crimes and come back to jail."
Other reports, like this one, warn that U.S. border enforcement personnel are losing control of vast swaths of the border: Breitbart.com.