I knew it. When I saw the swine flu outbreak map last month and the spread of new cases was an obvious result of travel from and within Mexico, I knew that immigration opponents would use it to their benefit.

Yes, our borders are porous and that obviously poses a health risk when the “human-swine-avian flu” is running rampant in Mexico, but instead of using the unnecessary hysteria to bring another notch to your “we need a 30-foot high wall between us and them” argument (I’m looking at you, Michael Savage), you should probably read up on what microbiologists are discovering about the home-turf origin of your death virus train to closed borders and take an inward look for the source of all this pandemonium.

When originally discovered, the current hybrid mutation looked like it had all the makings to bring another 1918 flu season where 100 million people worldwide succumbed to a similarly constructed H1N1 virus. H1N1 viruses are so scary because they are a conglomerate of viruses meant for different species.

When a virus enters a system, it splays its RNA everywhere, creating sloppy copies of itself using bits and pieces of whatever is around. If it’s in a human, it incorporates human DNA, a pig, swine DNA.

When two different types of viruses get into an animal cell at the same time, they mix together and the result is a more-resistant re-assorted virus that can jump species. And since the Avian flu virus from 2004 started hanging out in pig slaughterhouses, swine-bird flu combo packs have been finding their way into humans.

Although that science crud is probably gibberish to our almost-summer brains, the point is that the first reported case of the current swine flu strain was in 2005 where a 17-year-old boy in Wisconsin helped his brother-in-law slaughter pigs, got a bad case of the flu and fully recovered. Again, not in Mexico City, Calexico or even Laredo – Wisconsin.

Within a few days of the news proclaiming last month’s outbreak, research and genetic testing had already been done on the current swine virus and scientists said that the crazy strain is possibly no more severe than the average flu. But since we do love a good drama (last episode of “Friends”), the World Health Organization upped its infectious disease alert level to “imminent pandemic” and our fear-of-that-which-is-foreign was brought to SARS-worthy proportions.

Even though the majority of cases reported in the United States are of our own dumb citizens traveling to Mexico without hand sanitizer, conservative patriots have used the first two U.S. deaths from swine flu (both in South Texas) and the increasing north and westward spread of reported cases (welcome back, Hawaii) as more weak proof for the nearly-forgotten “they bring diseases” belief. Fuelling xenophobia locally is a WHO report that cites Los Angeles’ first reported swine flu case is a “third generation human-to-human transmission” originating from contact “with a Mexican.”

Why can’t we just treat these types of momentary scientific uncertainty like the alien landings and make sure ignorant people don’t hear about it?

The swine flu doesn’t mean “immigrants are coming to get us.” It means that we’re killing ourselves and need to figure out how to deal with the spread of disease in a globalized society before whoever is left feels like they’re continually watching I Am Legend from their front porch. The ease at which a pandemic can be reached in a world where opposite ends are connected by a 16-hour airplane flight is definitely a more frightening upgrade to Jamestown’s dysentery outbreak (or Lower Eastside New York’s tenement typhus of 1840), but that doesn’t mean we need to close our borders and send everybody home.

Instead of pointing a finger to the south just because we saw the concentration of colors on the New York Times outbreak map, we should probably look at the fingers that point back at ourselves because if anyone’s to blame it’s humans, as a whole, who, through our activities and movements, aid these viruses in mutating and spreading. We don’t yet understand all of the implications of living in a global society, but a flu pandemic is in no way the fault of one country or one ethnicity. We all created this bed, don’t be upset when we all have to lie in it.