Last night Rep. Joe Wilson from South Carolina shouted “YOU LIE” at President Barack Obama during the President’s Congressional health care address. And what was the issue that had him so riled up?
In last night’s televised address, President Obama was denouncing myths spread by cable news, talk radio, and anti-immigrant politicians that immigrants living in the U.S. illegally would receive free coverage under his health care plan. In fact, they are barred from doing so, as CNN, the Associated Press, FactCheck.org, and others have highlighted repeatedly.
Many of our email supporters have written in to express their concerns about this very exclusion:
“It troubles me that illegal immigrants will not be eligible for health care. Are they not human beings, also? They pay taxes like everybody else. What reason is there to deny health care to somebody merely on the basis of where they were born?” — John Wheat Gibson, Sr, Texas
“I would have hoped illegal immigrants would not be banned from receiving health care.” —Eldon R.
“I support President Obama and health care reform. I’m a liberal Democrat. But I’m not very happy that undocumented immigrants cannot access our health care system except for emergencies. We need to extend our compassion to them also!” —Rev. Aja, Kentucky
It’s obvious that the specter of ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION is being used by politicians like Rep. Joe Wilson as a divisive wedge issue– he has become a mouthpiece for groups whose main agendas are rooted in white nationalism, fear, and xenophobia.
One such organization is the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), classified as a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. FAIR has been lobbying Congress for years now and is storming DC this week for its annual “Hold Their Feet To The Fire” lobby days. FAIR’s founder, John Tanton, has been quoted:
“As Whites see their power and control over their lives declining, will they simply go quietly into the night? Or will there be an explosion?”
To be clear, these folks don’t care about the facts, when it comes to immigration policy. They’re looking to block any kind of comprehensive solution. Their solution? The mass deportation of 12 million people. Fewer rights for workers. More people living in the shadows.
The facts didn’t stop Rep. Wilson from shouting angrily at the President of the United States yesterday about “benefits for ILLEGALS.” Isn’t it time we stop giving extremism a free pass?
Watch our “What is FAIR?” video and help us send a message to Congress about who this hate group really is. Together, we can fight FAIR.