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
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!"


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

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

We MUST solve the immigration problem


health reform bill

can cost less if we keep

importing unneeded aliens,




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

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"

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

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

Impact on Illegal Immigrants Is Left Uncertain in
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



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

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

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
    not helped by bringing in more generally uneducated

  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

    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

    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


  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
, 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

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.