Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) on Tuesday said that the outbreak of measles in the Western U.S. may have been started by “illegal aliens.”
The recent measles outbreak has caused some politicians to take a stance on whether vaccines for children should be mandatory in the U.S. Numerous conservative lawmakers have argued that parents should not be forced to vaccinate their kids, while some Republicans have argued that vaccinations are safe and necessary.
But during a Tuesday morning interview with the Matt Murphy radio show, Brooks was asked if there is a correlation between undocumented children entering the U.S. and the measles outbreak.
“I don’t think there is any healthcare professional who has examined the fact, who could honestly say that Americans have not died because the diseases brought into America by illegal aliens who are not properly health care screened, as lawful immigrants are,” Brooks responded, according to audio published by ThinkProgress.
The congressman mentioned enterovirus, the spread of which conservatives blamed on undocumented immigrants. The Centers for Disease Control said there was no evidence linking immigrant children to the virus.
“It might be the enterovirus that has a heavy presence in Central and South America that has caused deaths of American children over the past 6 to 9 months. It might be this measles outbreak. There are any number of things,” Brooks said.
He did express some sympathy toward undocumented immigrants.
“You have to have sympathy for the plight of the illegal aliens,” he said. “They have not been blessed, in their home countries, with the kind of health care, the kind of immunizations that we demand of our children in the United States.”
He added that the requirement that kids are vaccinated before going to school “to some degree is suspended for illegal alien children.”
According to the World Health Organization, immunization for measles in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, where a majority of undocumented children have recently emigrated from, is about 93 percent. Children are also vaccinated at processing facilities just across the border.