Skip to comments.Agencies Fearful Of Tancredo Plan
Posted on 01/20/2004 7:53:39 AM PST by Reaganwuzthebest
Proposal to eliminate services to illegals assailed as 'racist'
Julissa Molina Soto knows all too well the health-care needs of illegal immigrants, struggling to eke out a living in the land of opportunity.
More than 725,000 illegal immigrants do not have health insurance. When they're battling ailments such as hepatitis C, they turn to her organization and handful of others supported in part by federal and state funding.
But she worries that a proposed constitutional amendment by U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., eliminating social services for illegal immigrants would virtually gut programs that aid tens of thousands of documented and undocumented workers here.
"Life in the United States is a hassle for undocumented immigrants," said Molina Soto, director of multicultural outreach for HEP C Connection, a nonprofit that helps illegal immigrants. "It's a whole different culture where you have little choice and limited access to services. What Tom Tancredo is doing to immigrants will only add to our misery."
Civil rights advocates and legal experts say it's too early to tell the impact of the proposal, but it's so broadly worded it could conceivably limit illegal immigrants' access to police protection, public colleges and universities, public school programs and health care services.
"We really consider this to be racist public policy at its worse," said Bill Vandenberg, co-director of Colorado Progressive Coalition, a network of civil rights organizations.
Backers must collect thousands of signatures in the next few months to get the initiative on the ballot. Carlos Espinosa, a spokesman for the Littleton congressman, denied assertions of racism.
The amendment, he said, is simply designed to shave billions in costs to fund health care and other emergency assistance programs.
"It has nothing to do with race. It's a purely fiscal policy," Espinosa said. "The federal government shelled out $800 billion to fund emergency health services alone last year because of illegal immigrants coming into the country. That's outrageous."
Tancredo's aide said the constitutional amendment is designed to be broad to allow Colorado lawmakers to define the rules of engagement.
Human service agencies fear the initiative could have a far-reaching effect, touching every program that receives federal and state money.
The state requires proof of residency to receive non-emergency services such as Medicaid.
Those without health insurance are forced to seek help from the likes of Salud Family Health Center, a network of nine statewide clinics funded in part by state and federal grants.
"We provided help to more than 161,000 illegal immigrants and migrant workers in 2002," said Clara Cabanis, migrant health director for the free clinic. "If we lose our funding, we can't help anyone."
Meanwhile, civil rights advocates said Tancredo's proposed constitutional amendment could lead to widespread discrimination against Hispanics in general.
Proposition 187, a similar initiative passed overwhelmingly by California voters in 1994, offers a glimpse of the future, Duran said.
"The effect of Prop. 187 was felt in the sharp upswing of racist treatment," Duran said. "People were afraid to send their children to school. People were afraid to call the police for fear they wouldn't protect them. Such measures send such a strong message of who is deserving and who is undeserving."
Geez, this is a state in the middle of the Country, NOT a border state.
$800 billion in emergency health service ALONE sounds a lot like abuse of the system to me. They don't pay for it yet they expect others to pay for it.
Hey Clara, you see something wrong with this? No, I'm sure you don't. The poor immigrant in an underground world "deserves" medical treatment at OUR expense.
I've read that there is a genetic heart defect in Mexicans, and a border hospital in Arizona (I think, IIRC) performed so many of these operations they not became proficient in them, they became known for it. Illegals cross the dang border JUST TO GET THE OPERATION, all on an American's tax dollar of course.
I am so disgusted with them expecting to receive free treatments for their Heptatis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, worms and whatever other disgusting disease they have contracted in their country and brought across the border into MY country.
If Tancredo offered up some of the proposals that Sabertooth has written about, I'd write in Tancredo's name on the Presidential ballet, and I'm not kidding.
In the tri-state area of NY, Connecticut, and New Jersey the estimate population of illegals is over a million.
That's really not our problem, and it's not by our invitation that they're here. Let them plead their hardship to whichever country their citizenship belongs.
$800 billion? The federal budget is in the $2 trillion range, so he's saying that 40% of the federal budget pays for the emergency health services of illegals? Sorry, I'm not buying the figures. (However even $1 is too much).
and that's a problem because...?
Which they gouged at gunpoint from hard working taxpayers.
Neither do a whole lot of our legal citizens and immigrants. If anyone gets first dibs on help with insurance it should be them. They shouldn't be financially raped to pay for insurance for criminals.
"Life in the United States is a hassle for undocumented immigrants,"
It should be, they're here illegally and are criminals.
This article should've had a triple-bagger barf alert attached to it.
Simple solution -- Get the hell out of the United States!
CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT!!!!!!!!!!!!! ALL OF IT! AND NOW!!
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