Demonizing Children

by Dan Quinn

That thousands of children are fleeing to this country to escape crime, violence and poverty in their Central American countries is a true human tragedy. While the Texas Freedom Network does not work on immigration issues, we — like most Americans — want our elected leaders to address this problem responsibly while also treating the children with compassion. After all, those children are innocent victims, having been sent on often perilous journeys to this country.

But extremists on the right appear to have decided to dehumanize those children as disease-ridden, violent criminals who pose a danger to American kids. Take, for example, Alice Linahan. Here’s what the head of Voices Empower, a Texas-based, political consulting firm, posted on Facebook today:

As a Mom who is a legal citizen of the US what are you doing to protect your children come Sept. when they may be exposed in our public school system to infectious disease, gang violence and individuals who have been victimized by sex trafficking? Is your local school district prepared?

Repulsive.

One might expect some of the thousands of children arriving here to be sick, especially considering their difficult journeys. But for the record, vaccination rates in Central American countries are often comparable or even better than those in the United States for conditions such as measles, whooping cough, polio, hepatitis and rotaviruses (which cause serious intestinal illnesses). But don’t bother telling Linahan. She’s too busy fear-mongering to listen.

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