Danger From DHS

Oct 25, 2018 by

When children are caught in the crossfire of warring ideologies and are the agonized collateral in adults’ power plays, it is ugly and damnable.
School health clinics immunize kids, treat them when sick and provide other services regardless of immigration or insurance status. This is not just because it reflects “what we are” as a morally evolved society, but is also a prudent and practical strategy to protect whole communities.
We don’t quibble over whether the child is a resident, the category of visa, or other designation that may have more emotional overtones than legal bearing.

It shouldn’t be a matter of borders, budget austerity, xenophobia or xenophilia or radical or reactionary.  It’s just the cry of human decency, for heaven’s sake!

But the Department of Homeland Security wants to disqualify aspiring immigrants from future permanent residency and eventual citizenship if they are currently availing themselves of social service benefits. DHS’s pretext is that participation in public assistance programs demonstrates a lack of independence and self-sufficiency which would make them a burden to taxpayers.

Human leeches, in other words.

More than half the funding for the school-based “wrap-around” services comes from Medicaid, which is ,of course, a government program.  Government computers, to a great extent regardless of agency, share data which is accessible by law-enforcement zealots.
With a few exceptions, the proposed DHS policy would require the child’s family to have an individual or organizational sponsor with adequate ready assets to pay for the family’s incurred financial liability or else their future in this country might be thrown into jeopardy for seeking treatment at taxpayer expense for their child’s injury, accident or illness.

The final decision on whether to implement this punitive rule is expected in several months, but it is already provoking well-founded panic. contingency plans must be made for coping with the anticipated drastic cutback on Medicaid that would result.

Many New Yorkers may have to choose between abandoning either their critical care or their hopes of settlement in the US.

Reasonable people may disagree about immigration philosophy and policy.  If not driven by inflexibility, underhandedness and often unexpressed antipathies, it is possible to argue for “merit-based screening” without necessarily being a racist ogre. It is not reckless to weigh economic impact among factors for admission.

But the DHS proposal is not a good-faith and benign strategy for protecting society and the treasury. It is an invidious tactic and plot.
The exercise of purported “patriotic” values has become a blood sport.  All children are innocent. If our government were the guardian and harbor of the “American spirit” it wouldn’t lye into the faces of dreamers.

Contact your elected federal officials and share you dismay in no uncertain terms.

Ron Isaac

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