Black parents are protesting a state of emergency order issued by Rockland County officials that bans children under 18 from public spaces if they have not been vaccinated against the measles.
The county is battling an outbreak of the measles that has entered its 26th week - the longest since the disease was eradicated in 2000, according to NBC NY.
The ban went into effect at midnight Wednesday. It bans youths under 18 from public places - including schools and shopping malls - for 30 days if they have not received the MMR vaccine to protect them against measles, mumps and rubella.
Black parents say the vaccine has a history of adverse effects on Black children. Critics argue the vaccine causes autism, but no research backs up that claim.
The penalty for violating the order is a misdemeanor fine and 6 months in jail, according to Rockland County Executive Ed Day at a press conference on Tuesday.
Day said he is taking action to protect the public health, particularly vulnerable people such as babies, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems like cancer patients.
"What about the infants who are out there with mom and dad? My newborn grandson is an infant," he said.
Rockland County, which is a sanctuary city, has over 70,000 immigrants from Mexico, and Central and South America - many of whom were not vaccinated against the measles before entering the country illegally.
Cities with high populations of illegals have seen a spike in diseases that were once thought to be eradicated.
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