Rokita said in a statement that he mentioned the virus as an example of a public health threat, not one that has been directly linked to the minors.
"The sudden spread of Ebola in Africa is merely one example of how we must take deliberate care to prevent an outbreak of any type of disease inside our border," Rokita said in the statement . . .
Rokita's original comments to radio talk show host Greg Garrison Monday were picked up by media across the country and criticized on social media after being initially reported by the Times of Northwest Indiana.
The Indianapolis Republican was talking on Indianapolis station WIBC about a letter that Indiana Republicans sent to President Barack Obama Friday asking for more information about the Central American children who have been placed in Indiana as they await immigration hearings . . .
"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 conditions of these kids as well,'" Rokita said.
Rokita said Tuesday his larger point was that we need to know the medical condition of everyone crossing the border.
"It's been said that the United States has found over 70 people from Ebola-stricken African countries entering our country from the southern border since January of this year," he said in the statement.
Rokita cited as his source the conservative news site Breitbart, which said a report it obtained from a source at the Customs and Border Protection agency shows at least 71 individuals from the three nations affected by the current Ebola outbreak have either turned themselves in or been caught attempting to illegally enter the country by U.S. authorities between January and July . . .I don't know what the hell is wrong with people who want to stand immigration laws on their head and open the borders up to anyone wishing to enter our country without restriction without taking into consideration public health concerns not to mention the rule of law. When Europeans arrived in the New World, they brought with them many diseases to which Native Americans had never been exposed. It's been estimated that as much as 90% of various Native American populations were wiped out from exposure to diseases the European immigrants brought with them, such as the measles, smallpox, mumps, whooping cough and typhus, among others. People who immigrate to this country legally are medically screened and required to have necessary vaccinations to alleviate public health risks posed by immigration.
The vitriolic attacks on Rokita and other responsible leaders who dare raise public health risks in a discussion regarding illegal immigration are meant only to silence people who want responsible enforcement of our immigration laws. How can we expect people to work as border patrol agents if we're not going to protect them from the many serious, sometimes life-threatening diseases to which agents have been exposed during the latest influx of illegal immigrants from Central America, which in a number of cases have been passed on to the agents and members of their families? And who foots the tab for the exorbitant health costs necessary to treat infectious outbreaks caused by illegal immigration? It's not as if working Americans can afford their own escalating health care costs as it is.