Rios Still Pushing Diseased Immigrant Myth

Rios Still Pushing Diseased Immigrant Myth March 5, 2015

Sandy Rios of the American Family Association continues to push the thoroughly racist Myth of the Diseased Immigrant, using staggeringly stupid arguments for her position. She says all those kids from Central America are unvaccinated (actually, more likely than Americans to be vaccinated) and just don’t know how to use the bathroom.

After reading a Washington Post story about the illness that didn’t mention any connection with immigration, Rios went ahead and suggested that Central American children who “were shuttled to unknown place around the country” spread Enterovirus D68 to other kids.

Rios backed up this assertion by claiming that immigrant children don’t have any basic understanding of hygiene and are largely unvaccinated, despite the fact that Central Americans have a higher vaccination rate than U.S. youth. She even claimed that the kids don’t even know how to use the bathroom.

“We have vaccinations and hygiene and cleanliness and we teach people in western civilization how to go to the bathroom properly, how to take care of things, how to do things in a sanitary way,” Rios said. “Do you not think that when we open our borders to a glut of people from another world who have never been trained, don’t know that, that that’s not going to bring in disease?”

This is just plain xenophobic bigotry of the type that appeals so strongly to the conservative mindset. We know from many psychological studies that conservatives respond very strongly, and very viscerally, to both out-group threats and to the three of disease. Combine the two together and you get the basis for all manner of racism and xenophobia.

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