Tribalism and the Myth of the Diseased Immigrant

As we watch the right wing unconscionably attack thousands of child refugees who have come here for safety and opportunity, partly with the old trope about diseased immigrants, Jesse Singal notes that this reaction is based on tribalism and fear of the other that is deeply ingrained in us.
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The Bus Full of Refugees That Wasn’t

Adam Kwasman, a Republican state legislator now running for Congress in Arizona, is one of those far right politicians who is simultaneously demanding that all of the refugee children be sent back immediately and that Obama is to blame for the mistreatment that led them to come here in the first place. And he has an anecdote to prove it:
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The Racist Trope of the Disease-Ridden Immigrant

One of the most commonly repeated tropes in American history is the idea that immigrants come here and spread disease. It’s been used to oppose virtually every immigrant group throughout our history and now it’s being used by xenophobes once again to demand that 52,000 young refugees be sent back to Central America. Samuel Kleiner recounts some of this vile history:
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King Thinks Billions of Immigrants Are On the Way

Rep. Steve King has a well-deserved reputation for being one of the loopiest members of Congress, ranking up there — err, down there — with Bachmann and Gohmert. And now he says that if we don’t send in the national guard to secure the Mexican border, we’ll have billions of immigrants coming here. And he didn’t misspeak — he meant to say that.
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The Diseased Immigrants Argument Returns

American history is replete with examples of xenophobes and nativists claiming that immigrants are bringing terrible diseases with them and infecting Americans. Now that absurd prejudice is being repeated as the right wing flips out and lies about the 52,000 children who have arrived on our borders in the last few months. Laura Murphy dismantles those claims:
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Chamber of Commerce Demands Immigration Reform

There are many divisions within the Republican party right now, but one of the biggest is the division between the pro-business types and those trying to appeal to their largely xenophobic, anti-immigrant base. The Chamber of Commerce seems to be throwing down the gauntlet on the issue.
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