I have been appalled by the heartless and ignorant rhetoric from our lawmakers about the refugee children who are in the U.S. seeking safety and asylum. It’s beyond ironic that most of it is being spewed by self-proclaimed pious “Christians.”
It’s bad enough that Indiana’s Governor–presumably playing to the GOP’s hysterically anti-immigrant base–wants these children returned immediately to their families. (Do not pass go, do not collect due process of law….) It’s beyond embarrassing that Republican members of Congress want the Administration to ignore the law, signed by President Bush, that sets out an orderly procedure for determining the children’s status– at the same time they are suing Obama for purportedly ignoring laws.
Now, one of Indiana’s Representatives has joined the reprehensible chorus.
According to the Northwest Indiana Times,
U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Ind., suggested Monday that immigrant children from Central America could be carrying the ebola virus that has killed some 800 people this year in West Africa.
West Africa. Right next door to Central America. You really know your geography, Representative Rokita. As the newspaper noted,
No human ebola illness ever has been contracted in the Western Hemisphere and none of the 30,340 unaccompanied minors released this year to relatives or sponsors, including the 245 children placed in Indiana homes, have ebola, according to the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement.
The refugee agency notes on its placement reporting website that all children receive vaccinations and medical screenings before being released to a relative or sponsor and no child is released who has a contagious condition.
Rokita said he doubts that claim and suggested the better course would be to keep all the children together in one place — ignoring the fact that infectious diseases spread fastest among large groups.
The story quoted Rokita as warning that “if more children are released to Hoosier relatives, they’ll soon enroll in school and “ultimately your property taxes are going to go up.”
Because god forbid you’d pay a few cents more in property taxes to shelter and educate a couple of hundred frightened, dislocated children.
Now that I think about it, didn’t Jesus say “Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come unto me–but only if their papers are in order, they can prove they don’t have ebola, and they won’t cost me any money”?
Yes, after listening to those good Christians Pence and Rokita, I’m sure that was the quote.