A project of the Center for Community Change

Anti-immigrant amendment to census defeated in the Senate

Yesterday, the Senate voted 60-39 to stop any further debate on the census effectively killing the Vitter amendment requiring proof of citizenship. I blogged about the politicization of the census and the use of immigration, yet again, as a wedge issue last month. The pro-migrant community has been awaiting the vote on this amendment for a while. Its defeat is great news.

SEIU took the lead on the Don’t Wreck the Census action, driving thousands of people to contact their Senators and say NO to the Vitter amendment. Eliseo Medina of SEIU said this about yesterday’s vote:

Today U.S. Senators put working families ahead of the politics of division and hatred. Joining a chorus of former U.S. Census Directors and advocacy leaders , the Senate voted down Senators Vitter and Bennett’s misguided attempt to undercut 2010 enumeration efforts and mar this critical process with hateful, anti-immigrant politics.

Now if only we could say the same for the health care debate, as the topic of undocumented immigrants is again rearing its ugly head, with rabid anti’s wanting to block them from even BUYING their own insurance. Prerna at Change.org’s immigration blog  spells it out plainly:

The question is simple: Do you want undocumented immigrants in your overburdened emergency rooms on ‘taxpayer dollars’ or do you want them buying health insurance to pay for their own medical bills? Never mind the fact that the undocumented pay taxes to mitigate the costs of receiving any so-called ‘free health care’ and are the least likely to use emergency health facilities.

Yesterday’s defeat of the Vitter amendment was a good step forward, but until we comprehensively reform our current immigration policy, this issue will continue to mire down any legislation that hits the House or Senate floors. You can count on it.

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