Gov. Tom Corbett says he’s not a fan of bringing to Pennsylvania some of the influx of immigrant children crossing the border — he’s worried they could bring and spread disease to the state.
“We feel for these children that they are fleeing their countries,” Corbett said. “We want to make sure they are taken care of and returned to their countries. But we also are concerned about their health and what they may cause as far as health issues in the state of Pennsylvania. From my standpoint, where they are coming in, there are certainly enough military bases in Texas and Arizona that the federal government could at least house them there temporarily to make sure before they send them to any state that their health conditions are okay for that. That they’ve had all their immunizations and so forth because we have a strong concern on that. From a humanitarian stand point you want to make sure these kids get taken care of but they need to be returned to their country of origin.”
Huffington Post says the kids probably don’t pose more of a health threat than, say, Jenny McCarthy’s:
Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), a physician, sent a letter dated July 7 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in which he said that “reports of illegal migrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning.” And the argument has been circulated by some other GOP lawmakers.
However, the concerns have been disputed, with UNICEF’s statistics showing that just 92 percent of U.S. children have been vaccinated against measles, compared with 93 percent of children in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
The Holy Family Institute, run by the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh, is taking in a number of children temporarily, in order to place them with family in the United States. And there’s been some talk of creating a new immigration center in Hazelton to help handle the influx of children.