Democrat Says: Without (Patriotic) Immigration Reform, All Reforms Are Imperiled—Including Health Care



No doubt most Americans want to see a fair health
care system.  But when President Obama admitted



in his address this week

that there are
"details"
to be worked out, cynical reverberations went
throughout the hall.  Then, of course, when
Obama claimed illegal aliens would not be getting
health insurance, Congressman



Joe Wilson

(R-SC) yelled




"You lie!"
—an



impropriety


for which he has since apologized, but used to gain
votes at home on his web site.  Further, he got
headline attention on



NBC`s Today Show


on Friday, September 11th.


So the battle will go on, with as yet an undetermined
outcome.


But most important in this Wilson attack is its
inadvertent highlighting of what must happen if any of
the problems that America faces are to be addressed and
solved.



We MUST solve the immigration problem

No

health reform bill


can cost less if we keep



importing unneeded aliens,

both



legally

and



illegally
,
at this present rate of well over a million a year. 


And how we can deal, in any



health reform package
,
with the 11 or 12 million



now here illegally


remains a true conundrum. 


In its usual agitprop style, the
Washington Post,
forced to headline its September 11th article




Shout Draws Focus to Illegal-Immigrant Issue

 (by
Alec MacGillis),

sub-headed the piece
Coverage Question
Is Complex, Experts Say, but Less Ominous Than Reform
Foes Warn. 

An example of what these "experts"
said:  

"To
counter claims that universal health care would cover
illegal immigrants, Democrats and independent arbiters
have pointed to language in the House legislation that
says the federal subsidies, or `affordability credits,`
that would be the main avenue to expanding coverage
would not be available to illegal immigrants." 


Maybe, although Mac Gillis`s article went on to admit
that

"This
language does not assuage the bill`s critics, who say
the proposals lack the verification tools needed to
assure that illegal immigrants do not gain coverage
either through federal credits or expanded Medicaid
eligibility for the poorest of the uninsured."


(By the way, I don`t notice Congress rushing to extend
E-Verify beyond its present expiration date of



September 30, 2009

E-Verify, you recall, is the highly effective Federal
program which allows employers to determine quickly 99%
of the time if job applicants are here legally.) 

Of course, we already subsidize illegal aliens.  As
the Post
reports, "It is
estimated that there are 6 million to 7 million illegal
immigrants without health insurance and that several
million more have obtained coverage through employers or
on their own. Taxpayers already subsidize health care
for illegal immigrants — Medicaid reimburses hospitals
for emergency treatments for undocumented immigrants,
most notably for childbirth."


In the September 11, 2009
Wall Street
Journal
piece,




Impact on Illegal Immigrants Is Left Uncertain in
Proposals
,
Elizabeth Williamson reports that


"Democratic and Republican leaders

all say

illegal immigrants shouldn`t receive government-funded
insurance in any new health legislation, just as they
are banned from receiving



Medicare



or




nonemergency Medicaid.



But in an exchange Thursday night clarifying the
president`s position in the aftermath of Mr. Wilson`s
outburst, White House aides said Mr. Obama`s health plan
would restrict illegal immigrants` access beyond what
congressional Democrats have proposed."


This huge and protracted fight over health care reform
leads us clearly to consider the larger, more troubling
point.  


It really doesn`t matter what issue you bring up for a
broad public policy debate—continuing to bring in
sizable immigrant populations, legally or illegally,
puts reform of all urgent public policy issues under
extreme stress. 


In aggregate, the increase of US population from 310
million today to 500 million by 2050—growth now almost
totally the result of immigrants since 1965 and their
offspring—will overwhelm all attempts at meaningful
improvement on every pressing issue.


Here`s a short list of the challenges we face, offered
by



Dr. John Tanton,

founder of FAIR:



  1. Jobs and overall economic recovery, restoration of
    consumer buying power, the key!




  2. Energy consumption and efforts to bring change to
    climate change—certainl
    y
    not helped by bringing in more generally uneducated
    people.




  3. Education, the key to our future, hurt by



    crippling our classrooms

    with those



    unable to speak our language,


    feel comfortable in our culture, or wanting to
    participate in our democratic system.




  4. Crime and the influence of drug smuggling and border
    security needs more attention, including consideration
    of



    legalizing at least marijuana
    ,
    which constitutes a huge part of the



    present Mexican border traffic

    and the support of M 13 gangs.





  5. Unemployment or underemployment now at well over 10% and
    continuing to rise.





  6. Foreign war involvement which always



    generates more refugees


    at a time when we are least able to absorb them. Look at
    the

    aftermath of Vietnam


    and the



    Kuwait/Gulf Wars
    .





  7. Environmental impact—not only on the



    Mexican Border


    states, but the crowding and overuse of our precious



    National Park


    heritage.





  8. Our aging infrastructure—should be rebuilt using
    unemployed American labor, not imported aliens.






  9. Perhaps the most major issue—assuring the solvency of
    Medicare, Medicaid and the Social Security system, all
    widely held to be imperiled.



As Tanton notes,
"all these issues have demographic/immigration
components"
, thus making
"immigration reform, both legal and illegal, the capstone issue".


Americans have long been preponderantly in favor of much
lower immigration. Perhaps now, facing these budgetary
constraints on every side, our elected elites will begin
to feel the pressure of their American voter
constituencies. 


So even if the mass media giants like the




Wall Street Journal


and the



Washington Post



can`t connect the dots, Americans already have—and are
increasingly demanding action. 


How about starting with the



extension of E-Verify?

Donald A. Collins [email
him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.