The Slatest

Congressional Republican Says Central American Immigrant Children Could Spread Ebola

Rep. Todd Rokita, lower left, in 2013.

Photo by David Lawder/Reuters

Republican Todd Rokita, who represents parts of western Indiana in the House of Representatives, said Monday on an Indianapolis radio program that authorities should be concerned about the possibility that child immigrants from Central America could spread the Ebola virus. From the Times of Northwest Indiana:

Referencing a conversation he had with U.S. Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Newburgh, who is a heart surgeon, Rokita said they agreed there is a public health risk associated with the federal refugee agency placing immigrant children in the homes of U.S. relatives or sponsors.


“He said, look, we need to know just from a public-health standpoint, with Ebola circulating and everything else—no, that’s my addition to it, not necessarily his—but he said we need to know the condition of these kids,” Rokita said.

The Times’ writeup notes that “no human Ebola illness ever has been contracted in the Western Hemisphere.”

Another dry passage from the Times’ piece:

[Rokita] added if more children are released to Hoosier relatives, they’ll soon enroll in school and “ultimately your property taxes are going to go up.”

Classroom instruction in Indiana schools mainly is funded by state sales and income taxes, not local property taxes.

Rokita made national news last year for telling CNN anchor Carol Costello that she was beautiful during a discussion of the government shutdown.