Conservative Republicans are painting Latino immigrants as Ebola carriers to fan the anti-immigration reform movement, but health experts say those fears are grossly overstated. Conservative Republicans should not be using the Ebola fears of the United States as a scare tactic to their advantage on the anti-immigration reform movement. Until there have been Ebola outbreaks in Central America, Conservative Republicans should not use the Ebola scare as a way to push the anti-immigration reform movement but instead, look to inform the United States public about other reasons why immigration reform would be an overall good thing.
Scare tactics are commonly used by politicians and others to gain popular support on controversial issues simply because they work. According to Michael Pollick, when it comes to motivating the masses to take action, sometimes straight facts are not enough. People who hear a frightening statistic or an alarming fact often take that information at face value and act out of fear. Successful tactics must instill a true sense of fear or else they may be seen as weak attempts to sway public opinion (Pollick). Just as in writing an interesting fact will draw an audience’s attention towards the topic they are about to read.
According to the “Talking Climate” Article, studies on ‘fear appeals’ show the potential for fear to change attitudes or verbal expressions of concern, but often not actions or behavior Miller 1 (“Talking Climate”). Conservative Republicans are doing just this to scare the public into their policy. To play with the emotions and fears of the American people in an attempt to attain their support on this issue is a completely unprofessional way to go about addressing this. There is a slight chance that Ebola will pass through the southern border of Mexico and into the United States.
According to Maria Santana of CNN, during an August hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s subcommittee on Africa, Tom Frieden dismissed the possibility of Ebola reaching the United States from Mexico via the southern border by stating, “That is not happening” (Santana). As stated in the Time article, “Why Ebola Hasn’t Really Spread Across West Africa,” the World Health Organization reports that the Ebola epidemic has claimed at least 4,877 lives and counting, most of which were lost largely in West Africa. So far it has mainly been confined in three countries: Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia (“Why Ebola Hasn’t Really Spread Across West Africa”).
Ebola is not spreading to other places around the world unless someone who was helping an affected patient carries it, but those people are contained. Also according to Santana, other health officials agree that there is a very slim chance that Ebola can enter through the United States via the southern border (Santana). Though Conservative Republicans argue that Ebola could pass through the southern border via illegal immigrants, there have been no cases of Ebola in Central America; the outbreaks are mainly confined in West Africa.
Many Conservative Republicans use this point to push for immigration reform, saying the southern border is not in good quality standing or not safe enough. Illegal immigrants that are passing though the southern border could carry Ebola and we would not catch or know it. But this statement is Miller 2 fabricated because there have been no outbreaks of Ebola in Central America. According to Santana’s article, there has never been an outbreak of Ebola in Latin or Central America, which was said by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (Santana).
That alone makes it extremely unlikely for a child or adult entering the United States via Mexico or the southern border to be infected with the Ebola disease. Once again the countries most affected by the virus are Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia in West Africa. Our concern should be with the people in those countries and on the people visiting those countries. According to Santana’s article, Carl Meacham, director of the America’s program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the largest communities of West Africans in Latin America can be found in Brazil and the Caribbean, once more not Central America, where the majority of immigrants who illegally cross the border are from (Santana).
There are examples that Conservative Republicans could use that could be economically beneficial for the United States to push for anti-immigration reform instead of using the Ebola scare. According to Amanda Peterson Beadle in her article, “Top 10 Reasons Why The U. S. Needs Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” legalizing the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States would not only boost the population but also the nation’s economy (Beadle). More people and more spending lead to a better economy, so why not focus on improving our nation with that fact alone.
She also states in that article that tax revenues would increase. Also According to Beadle, if tax revenues increase then this would allow people to spend more money; therefore, boosting the nation’s economy. The federal government would accrue 4. 5 billion to 5. 4 billion in additional net tax revenue over just three years if the 11 million undocumented immigrants Miller 3 were legalized (Beadle). Another thing Beadle talks about is that a path to citizenship would help many families across the United States access health care.
About a quarter of families where at least one parent is an undocumented immigrant are uninsured, but undocumented immigrants do not qualify for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, leaving them dependent on so-called safety net hospitals that will see their funding reduced as health care reforms are implemented. Without being able to apply for legal status and gain health care coverage, the health care options for undocumented immigrants and their families will shrink (Beadle). If Conservative Republicans would use these reasons for their push on anti-immigration reform, they would get better more accurate reactions out of the United States public that they are looking for than in the Ebola scare tactic reactions of the public.
Even though there are cases of Ebola being treated in places other than Africa, the method of transmission gives Republicans no reason that Ebola would come into the United States via the southern border. According to Eileen Gonzales in his article, “Experts: Chances of U. S. Ebola Outbreak Slim,” as the first patient for Ebola is treated in the United States in Texas at a Dallas Hospital, there are concerns about how far the virus will spread (Gonzales).
Even if Ebola spreads down into Central America from the Dallas case, which would only happen if a caregiver of this patient is infected and then goes to Central America, Ebola is obviously already in the United States, so there is no good reason that Republicans should be using this as a way to push for anti-immigration reform. For one, according to Gonzales, Ebola is not an airborne virus: “The virus is only spread when a patient is showing symptoms. Since Ebola is not an airborne virus, it’s not spread through air, water or food” (Gonzales).
So if people from Central America do not treat this patient Miller 4 from Dallas or does not have contact with him or the caregivers, Ebola will not spread there and there will be no reason once again to close the southern border. Again, Republicans should be looking at other reasons to push for anti-immigration reform for the United States public to look at. There is a slight chance that Ebola will pass through the southern boarder and into the United States. Though Conservative Republicans argue with that scare tactic that Ebola could pass through the southern border via illegal immigrants, there have been no cases of Ebola in Central America; the outbreaks are in West Africa countries.
There are other reasons that are tied to our nation’s economy that Conservative Republicans could use to push for anti-immigration reform. Even though there are cases of Ebola being treated in places other than Africa, the method of transmission is airborne and gives Republicans no reason that Ebola would come into the United States via the southern border. Until there have been Ebola outbreaks in Central America, Conservative Republicans should not use Ebola as a scare tactic to push the anti-immigration reform movement but look to inform the United States public about other reasons why anti-immigration reform would be beneficial for the United States. Miller 5.
Works Cited Gonzales, Eileen. “Experts: Chances of U. S. Ebola Outbreak Slim. ” KSAT. Web. 6 Dec. 2014. http://www. ksat. com/content/pns/ksat/news/2014/10/01/experts–chances-of-u- s–ebola-outbreak-slim. html. Peterson Beadle, Amanda. “Top 10 Reasons Why The U. S. Needs Comprehensive Immigration Reform. ” ThinkProgress RSS. Web. 14 Nov. 2014. http://thinkprogress. org/justice/2012/12/10/1307561/top-10-reasons-why-the-us- needs-comprehensive-immigration-reform-that-includes-a-path-to-citizenship/. Pollick, Michael, and Bronwyn Harris. “What Are Scare Tactics?
” WiseGeek. Conjecture. Web. 13 Dec. 2014. http://www. wisegeek. com/what-are-scare-tactics. htm. Santana, Maria. “Ebola Fears Spark Backlash against Latino Immigrants. ” CNN. Cable News Network, 1 Jan. 1970. Web. 6 Nov. 2014. http://www. cnn. com/2014/10/10/politics/ebola-fears-spark-backlash-latinos/. “Talking Climate. ” Talking Climate Using Scare Tactics Does Itwork Comments. Web. 13 Dec. 2014. http://talkingclimate. org/guides/using-scare-tactics-does-it-work/. “Why Ebola Hasn’t Really Spread Across West Africa. ” Time. Time. Web. 6 Dec. 2014. http://time. com/3528833/ebola-spread-west-africa/.