Heightened fears due to rising anti-immigrant sentiment are causing this shocking development because legal residents don’t want to risk exposing an unauthorized family member. Instead, they are choosing to expose themselves to illness and the risk of severe health complications that come with lack of access to care affecting their entire families and community.
Heaping calamity to injury, Congress has made accessing care for uninsured kids even more difficult by intentionally leaving out funding for community health centers in last week’s Continuing Resolution that saved CHIP. Community health centers serve as the safety net for uninsured kids and adults in our communities. [SEE BELOW FOR HOW YOU CAN HELP FUND THESE CRUCIAL CENTERS]
It’s akin to how a crisis in the life of one student causes ripples across the entire classroom. But more on that later.
The obtuse approach of the Trump administration to complex immigration issues, particularly regarding the nation’s Dreamers, law-abiding residents who were brought to the U.S. as children without documentation by their parents, is fueling a toxic, decidedly unhealthy atmosphere for all.
There’s also the added unease of the potential that our government may be in violation of the Constitution.
Legal scholars have described the move towards mass deportation of Dreamers as unconstitutional because of the lack of due process. Dreamers identified themselves to the government under President Obama’s 2012 DACA program which promised to protect them; this may be a violation of their right against self-incrimination.
Constitutionality aside, tearing these students and taxpayers from their homes and communities and sending them to a country they don’t know probably just seems un-American to you because, mercifully, the notion is hideously unpopular—only 15% of Americans think Dreamers should be deported.
Across the political spectrum: 84% of Democrats, 74% of independents, and 69% of Republicans think they should stay, according to a November poll.
This week, the ever mercurial President Trump made off-the-cuff musings about a 10-12 year pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, yet another puzzling contradiction from the Administration that is stripping 122 Dreamers of their DACA status a day.
Much like the embarrassing debacle that nearly killed CHIP, the roiling tumult over Dreamers is craven politics at its worst. Congress must act on behalf of their voters and lead the nation out of this mess.
COVER ALL KIDS
Earlier we mentioned how what happens to one student affects the entire classroom. In terms of health care, thanks to CHIP, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, nearly all children in Pennsylvania are eligible for health insurance. Nearly all, unfortunately, still means upwards of an estimated 20,000 remain uninsured, including unauthorized Dreamers who are ineligible for CHIP and Medicaid.
It’s a glaring flaw in the state’s promise to cover all children, which is not only an excellent public health policy but a fiscally prudent policy as well, prioritized by six states, including Massachusetts, Illinois and California which adopted the policy under Republican leadership.
That’s why PCCY continues its campaign to truly cover all kids, regardless of a child’s immigration status, an effort that unsurprisingly enjoys bipartisan support, yet remains shy of reaching a tipping point.
Call 202-225-3121 to be connected to Senator Toomey, Senator Casey and your US Representative.
Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent and a voter from [LOCATION]. I’m calling today about two critical issues I care about. First, I urge you support a clean DREAM Act and reject President Trump’s demands to include massive, unnecessary spending on border security to the bill. It is unfair and immoral to use the lives of hundreds of thousands of young DACA recipients as bargaining chips to score political gains. Second, I’m calling to urge you to push for immediate funding reauthorization for the Community Health Centers Fund. Community health centers provide essential healthcare to millions of vulnerable people – including people in my county – and they need this money to stay open. Thank you for your time and attention.
Your calls demanding CHIP funding were heard. Be heard again!
Calls to your US lawmakers on DACA and funding for community health centers are needed now.
Call 202-225-3121 to be connected now.
See below for more information.
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