Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dream Act Failed

If we sent them home, there wouldn't be a home to go to.
- Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX).

How pathetic that our Senate could not muster enough votes to move forward on the Dream Act. How dishonest for the opponents to characterize this as amnesty. What a bunch of cowards for our elected representatives to let themselves be influenced by the screaming nativists. Just once, I would like for a rep to say that they were going to do the right thing even if the calls were 10 to one against it. If the Senate can't get together to pass a bill like this -- that has already been adopted by several states with no problems -- then how are they ever going to get together to pass any comprehensive immigration reform that permits a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants? This would seem to be the most innocuous of concepts -- allow undocumented students who were brought here as minors to get on a path to permanent residence by going to college or joining the military. We shouldn't be punishing children for the "sins" (and that is most certainly not the correct word for the actions of their parents) of their parents. How are we better off as a nation to keep these children in the hidden world of undocumented immigrants? How can we be so lacking in grace? And Tom Tancredo, the epitome of mean-spiritedness, actually tried to get the students who lobbied in Washington on behalf of the bill arrested! But on the other hand, why expect Congress and the administration to care about innocent immigrant children when they apparently don't even care much about the health care needs of U.S. citizen children? e.g. the SCHIP bill.

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy." Matt. 5. If I were Tom Tancredo, FAIR, Lou Dobbs, the Minutemen, and all those nativist groups out there, I would be concerned about the state of my soul.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sam Graves; SCHIP Vote

Letter to Editor, published 10/13/07 in the Kansas City Star

Last week, Rep. Sam Graves gave his reasons for voting against the SCHIP bill that would provide health insurance for millions of U.S. children. A major reason for his rejection is that there is the possibility that the children of “illegal immigrants” might fraudulently receive benefits (they aren’t eligible under the bill). There may be reasons for opposing the program, but this isn’t one of them. It seems for Rep. Graves the horror that the child of a poor immigrant might actually get health care in this country outweighs the benefit of the program to millions of poor U.S. children. Immigrant bashing may be a convenient political move to justify just about any wretched policy, but it is patently ridiculous here. If there is the potential for fraud in the program (as there is in any federal or state benefit program), get rid of the fraud, not the program.