The crisis along our country’s border is growing worse every day, as Republicans fight against any sort of immigration reform prior to election day, especially not anything suggested by the administration. A number of conservative politicians are too busy opposing every solution President Barack Obama offers, preferring to score points versus find a compromise for a very serious problem. Meanwhile, the vitriol they have spewed upon those who are trying to find refuge and protection in the United States, a large percentage of whom are unaccompanied children, has become epic.
Here are four of the worst things the GOP has said about the undocumented immigrants coming into the country:
1) They are like the invasion of Normandy!
According to Rep. Louie Gohmert, the undocumented children coming into Texas are an invasion, like soldiers storming the beach during World War II, and that means that warlike efforts should be taken to stop them. Rep. Gohment recommended the Texas Governor “use whatever means, whether itís troops, even using ships of war,” to stem the tide, and swore that if he didn’t, the sea of children coming into the U.S. would use up all of the resources of the taxpayers of the country.
Texas is a “state that is being invaded ó in our case more than twice as many just in recent months, more than twice as many than invaded France on D-Day with a doubling of that coming en route,” claimed Rep. Gohmert, who said the children were coming in droves to steal precious government handouts.
2) They are diseased.
If there is a conservative crisis, you know that talk show host Rush Limbaugh is in the thick of it. Recently, he’s been telling his audience that keeping undocumented children out of the country is a public health issues since, unlike the old days of Ellis Island, today’s children have disease.† “I have seen stories about the sickness and the disease that is arriving with these unaccompanied children,” said Limbaugh. “And I’ve also seen stories where doctors have been threatened if they report this.† But some of them went ahead and reported it despite the threats.† There were more things, of course, at Ellis Island that they tried to weed out, potential criminals and this kind of thing. But a large part of it was to keep deadly infectious diseases en masse out of the country. ”
3) They have Ebola!
While Limbaugh may have been worried about some sort of every day infection, Georgia Rep. Phil Gingrey has a more specific concern — Ebola. Apparently, he’s convinced that those children coming over the border are unvaccinated, meaning they are bringing that particular disease with them. “Reports of illegal immigrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning,” Gingrey wrote, according to Mother Jones. “Many of the children who are coming across the border also lack basic vaccinations such as those to prevent chicken pox or measles.” Ebola? As a disease found only in Africa, and which has a tendency to spread fast and kill just as fast, it’s pretty near impossible that those being held in the detention centers have Ebola virus. Anyway, as the Texas Observer reports, Central America has much higher rates of vaccination than Texas, so if there’s disease spread threat, odds are our politicians are pointing their fingers at the wrong population.
4) Obama is letting them in so Democrats can win elections.
That’s the implicit message behind a muddled piece of graffiti on a center in Maryland that was rumored to be under consideration as a new facility for those who have migrated into the country. ďNo illeagles here. No undocumented Democrats,” reads the spray paint on the wall. The idea that the administration is letting potential voters into the country to eventually prop up Democratic candidates is another one being pushed by Rep. Gohmert, and it’s one the Tea Party has run wild with. Over at Hotair.com, pundits bemoan that not only will the influx of people entering the country vote Democrat, but it will ripple out into the overall voting population, too. “Itís not just votes from immigrants themselves, in other words, that are padding Democratic totals on election day,” writes Hotair.com. “The wider local population is itself more apt to tilt Democratic as the immigrant numbers increase, compounding the electoral effect.”
Republicans will not be able to hold off immigration reform forever, as without some form of intervention, the crisis will continue to get worse as migration grows. The party’s desperation to scapegoat and stereotype the children arriving in the country may play to their base, their primary focus as they head into election day. But once the election is over, policy will have to be drafted, and at that point the public will want leadership and compromise, not rhetoric and demonizing.
Photo credit: Thinkstock