Pa. Republicans Now Afraid Immigrant Kids Are Gang Members

State GOP has moved on from calling kids "disease carrying" at least.

Remember when Gov. Tom Corbett worried that immigrant kids coming north from drug-war-torn countries south of the border might bring diseases with them? Remember how he was really silly to think so?

Well that kind of “let’s needlessly panic the masses about immigrants” leadership just may end up looking like the good old days. Soon.

The Patriot-News reports that Pennsylvania Republicans are now expressing concern that these young immigrants are actually … gang members.

In a letter signed by 19 other Republican lawmakers, Representatives Tim Krieger (R-Delmont) and Rob Kauffman (R-Chambersburg) urged members of Congress from Pennsylvania to take action to protect public safety from any potential dangers stemming from the approximately 500 unaccompanied minors who have been given temporary shelter in Pennsylvania.

The lawmakers wrote that they are concerned that some of the children could be affiliated with criminal gangs.

“We are writing today to ask that you give serious consideration to this potential safety concern and that you take action to protect the citizens of the Commonwealth,” the letter says.

Maybe they’ve seen Bugsy Malone too many times.

In any case, as the Center for American Progress points out, “For much of the past decade, most of the children crossing the border were older males. But many of those arriving now are female and the average age is dropping: Children under age 10—and some much younger—are now making the dangerous journey from their homelands.”

We’re not saying that girls under 10 can’t be gang members: There are a lot of horrors in the world after all. We will say this: It’s unlikely that many of them are. And what’s more, Pennsylvania Republicans don’t have much reason to think they are. They’re just grasping at any anti-immigration straw they can think to pull.

The full letter can be found here.