Ohio State Representatives John Adams (85th House District) and Wes Retherford (51st House District) are currently looking for co-sponsors for a bill that would “prohibit any state agency from entering into an agreement with the federal government to provide temporary housing for illegal immigrants.” The bill would also “make any local government or private corporation ineligible to receive any state funding, including Local Government Funds, if they enter in to an agreement with the federal government to house illegal immigrants.”
Adams explains the reasoning behind the bill, repeating the false, xenophobic rhetoric of the Right: “Given the clear public health and safety issues at stake by unchecked illegal immigration (such as gang members that have been deported returning across the border and the spread of diseases previously unseen in the United States), Ohio, its political subdivisions, and the recipients of public dollars, should not be party to the federal lawlessness.”
According to the Texas Observer: “Guatemalan kids are more likely than Texans to be immunized for most infectious diseases. Guatemala has universal health care. Vaccines are 100 percent funded by the government.” By comparison, “one in six kids in Texas is uninsured, and even insured families often must pay for vaccination.” Nearly 7% of Ohio’s children are not insured.
As the Chicago Tribune points out, Americans have long used the fear of disease to reinforce their existing prejudices. “When the Irish arrived, they were accused of bringing cholera. European Jews were seen as carriers for tuberculosis. Asians were alleged vessels for hookworm.”
Adams and Retherford’s bill is nothing more than racist, xenophobic and anti-immigrant red meat for their right-wing, Fox News-watching supporters.