U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman has now joined others in his party who have expressed concern about Ebola and other diseases being brought in by migrant children arriving at America’s southern border.
On an Indianapolis radio show Monday, Stutzman defended his colleague, Rep. Todd Rokita, who last week had raised the fear that the children might be carrying Ebola.
Critics of Rokita’s remarks pointed out that there have been no cases of Ebola reported in the Western Hemisphere.
But Stutzman said criticism of Rokita was ridiculous.
“Who knows what’s coming across right now and what they’re bringing across?” Stutzman said, calling for health screenings for immigrants.
But the congressman will be relieved to learn that each of the migrant children is screened for infectious diseases at the border.
Jessica Maxwell, spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security’s health affairs office, told the Dallas Morning News last month that every immigrant child is screened by a paramedic or emergency room technician looking for rashes, fever or coughing.
If such symptoms are present, the child undergoes a second examination.
“Any child who needs medical treatment is sent to a local emergency room, and if they are suspected to have a communicable disease, such as chicken pox or tuberculosis, they are quarantined, vaccinated and treated,” Maxwell told the Morning News. “It’s a very small amount of children, compared to the general population.”
The children’s most common medical complaints, she added, were exhaustion, dehydration, and ankle and foot injuries from their journeys.