Yes, you may have no bananas

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We recently returned from another cruise.

(another cruise, Gershbein?) Yup! We are definitely addicted to them.

There is no better vacation than a week on the high seas with stopovers on Caribbean Islands. Music, dancing, shows and ten meals a day, eleven on Friday, all included. Can you beat that?

Upon returning to the United States, it is necessary to fill out a Customs Declaration — that is the blue four-by-nine form that reads: “Each arriving traveler or responsible family member must provide the following information.”

Then it reads us many rules and asks a lot of questions. The big one that affects cruisers is the one that says, “ … fruits, vegetables and plants are restricted. Failure to declare such items to a Customs and Border Protection Officer can result in penalties and the items may be subject to seizure.”

Just before you enter the area where one stands on line to meet the customs agents, there is a government official standing alongside a large box. He is juggling a banana, an apple and an orange while announcing, “If you are caught with any of these in the next room you will be subject to a fine of $200 for each.”

As we passed by we noticed that the box was already half full — and this was early, with many more passengers still on the ship.

There are people from all over the world coming to our nation with syphilis, gonorrhea, AIDS, leprosy, tuberculosis, hepatitis, and more. A lot more. Note that I said nothing about Ebola. We’ll talk about that at another time.

In the meantime, we are a nation of porous borders, where approximately seventy thousand children were invited to walk across our border. Many of them arrive here with adults as well. According to reports on CNN, FOX, and the major networks, numerous illegals reach our southern states with infections that go undetected. There have been reports of children with chicken pox, German measles, various viruses and scabies.

Do some Googling and you can find out the names of other diseases and in some cases you can even find out estimates of how many infected children and adults make it across the border.

Many of the undocumented — don’t you just love that word? We’re kosherizing the illegal immigrants by now referring to them as “undocumented” immigrants. Many of the undocumented youngsters were never vaccinated against the childhood illnesses that most here in the United States are. Even so, they cross our border and bring us the gifts of chicken pox, German measles, tuberculosis, viruses, and scabies. Even with the understaffed border agents attempting to isolate those whom they think are not healthy, a great number of these children make it into our cities and schools.

I am saying that many come in with viruses, scabies, and who knows what else, but I cannot bring in a banana. Those bananas must be really dangerous.

Read Stan Gershbein's column every Monday on
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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