A project of the Center for Community Change

Going bi-coastal for immigrant inclusion in health care

Yesterday, immigrant rights groups took direct action to law makers on both coasts of the country.  With the Senate reopening debate on health care reform, the current version of the bill being debated will once again throw immigrants (both documented and undocumented) under the bus.

In San Francisco,  around 250 people demonstrated outside of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. The rally was organized in reaction to the Senate’s version of the health care reform bill that excludes undocumented immigrants from purchasing insurance with their own money and reinstates the five year bar for legal immigrants’ access to care.

EunSook Lee, Executive Director of NAKASEC spoke to the crowd about their common purpose:

Unfortunately, the Senate bill released last week falls far short of the House bill with regards to immigrant inclusion. Once again, immigrants continue to become the scapegoats and, if not corrected, this will result in a poisoning of the health care debate and the blocking of the real progress Americans need. Speaker Nancy Pelosi demonstrated pivotal leadership by standing strong against pressure from both sides of the aisle and the White House to exclude people from health reform. Today we are here in San Francisco representing millions of people in this country in support of health reform and urging her to remain strong.

Meanwhile, on the East coast, around 40 activists from CASA de Maryland and NAKASEC gathered outside of the infamous Representative Joe Wilson’s office to protest the scapegoating of immigrants that Wilson ignited with his “You lie” outburst during a joint session of Congress this September.

I love that the protestors outside of Joe Wilson’s office directly ask staffers how it makes sense to deny them the right to buy insurance with their own money, while still paying taxes and contributing positively to our country. The staffers have no idea what just hit them.

 

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