IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. -- A former border patrol agent said he contracted a flesh eating bacteria while training, and he blames it on the toxic waste that has been flowing into the U.S. from Mexico.
Ahead of President Trump's trip to town on March 13, Joshua Willey is urging the president to see for himself how serious the sewage spills have become.
Willey is permanently disabled due in part to a flesh eating bacteria he said he contracted back in 2010 while doing training exercises along the Silver Strand State Beach.
“The pain of this ordeal that I went through eventually went away, but the negative impact that it’s had on myself and my family has been much worse,” Willey said.
Willey said years after almost losing his arm, and possibly his life, he is disappointed that the sewage spills from Mexico have not been stopped.
Christopher Harris, with the National Border Patrol Council, said he is too.
“We’re no longer willing to work in a toxic chemical dump. That is not one of the jobs, inherent dangers of our job nor it should be. If you were a teacher in a school and there were chemicals flowing in your classroom you would expect that to be fixed and we expect it to be fixed because it’s not fair to have this happen to my men and women,” Harris said.
Harris and members of Citizens Against Sewage are asking officials, both locally and federally, to step up and solve this decades-long problem.
“President Trump we need your help. We have a regional trans-border sewage crisis in the South Bay of San Diego County. Mr. Trump when you visit San Diego next week to look at border wall prototypes. Please have border patrol give you a tour of the Tijuana River Valley where San Diego has declared a state of emergency. Where Imperial beach has declared a state of emergency,” Citizens Against Sewage Attorney Daron Case said.
“My message to President Trump is I love what he’s doing so far and I hope that while he’s here he won’t ignore the polluted river that’s flowing behind him,” Willey said.
Local officials also called on the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission to make leadership changes.
A spokesperson for IBWC told FOX 5 the commissioner will continue to work unless otherwise notified by the administration.