Friday, September 18, 2009
Yesterday, Kevin Johnson blogged on Congressman Luis Guiterrez's plans to introduce an immigration bill soon. Here's a statement from the New York Immigration Coalition related to Guiterrez's announcement:
WITH REPRESENTATIVE GUTIERREZ TO INTRODUCE IMMIGRATION BILL, NYIC URGES CONGRESS TO AVOID REPLAYING CYNICAL POLITICS OF HEALTH CARE DEBATE
September 18, 2009. Yesterday, Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) announced plans to jump-start the immigration reform debate in Congress by introducing a bill in the coming weeks. Following is a response from Ms. Chung-Wha Hong, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition:
We applaud Representative Gutierrez for taking up the challenge of introducing an immigration reform bill that will treat immigrants with dignity and respect. And we look forward to seeing a bill that provides a workable solution to our broken immigration system—a solution informed by a realistic, honest, and dispassionate analysis of our nation’s needs and the problems that need to be addressed.
His announcement could not come at a more critical moment for our nation, when the debate over health reform is being derailed by specious arguments that blame immigrants for our dysfunctional health care system. We are deeply dismayed that sound policy solutions have been tossed out the window, replaced by such senseless proposals as prohibiting undocumented immigrants from paying into the system by purchasing health insurance at full price. Such measures may feed into public frustration but actually undermine the goal of health care reform.
What is most disheartening is that President Obama has backed this measure, effectively allowing the debate to be framed by diversionary and dishonest rhetoric.
For too long, our leaders, driven more by cynical politics than by reason, have failed to resolve the most crucial issues facing our nation. We are seeing this played out in the current health care debate. Let’s hope that when an immigration reform bill is introduced, Congress and the president will have wised up and realized it’s time to stop playing that game and to start arriving at real solutions.
The NYIC is an umbrella advocacy group that brings together nearly 200 diverse member organizations to advance justice and opportunity for all. For more information, please visit www.thenyic.org.