Vanessa Cárdenas: “Is expanding healthcare for Dreamers supposed to entice more future immigrants to have been in the U.S. since 2007?”
Washington, DC – This week, House Republicans are again holding multiple committee and subcommittee hearings on immigration and the border – part of their relentless barrage of anti-immigrant fear-mongering and falsehoods that are all about politics, not policy solutions. The overall goal is to advance their “Biden Border Crisis” talking points and drive towards the ludicrous impeachment of the President or the Secretary of Homeland Security. One of this week’s hearing topics, in its self-evident absurdity and harmful larger context, is particularly revealing.
On Tuesday afternoon, the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, Subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services, will hold a hearing titled: “Why Expanding Medicaid to DACA Recipients Will Exacerbate the Border Crisis.” The hearing will undoubtedly try to raise fears about pro-DACA and pro-Dreamer policies, but the premise is both ridiculous and pernicious.
Among the requirements for DACA eligibility includes continuous residency in the United States since 2007 – before President Obama took office. Meanwhile, due to ongoing Republican legal attacks on DACA, even longtime Dreamers who have grown up in the U.S. and are Americans in all but their official citizenship are now barred from signing up for DACA for the first time. So the notion that a new wave of immigrants and asylum seekers would base their potentially life-or-death decision to migrate based on expanding healthcare access for current DACA recipients doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.
Yet beyond the ridiculous premise, it’s also a sad commentary on the state of Republicans on immigration in general and opportunities for Dreamers in particular. DACA has been one of the most popular and successful immigration programs in U.S. history. Yet despite its successes, the futures of Dreamers with and without DACA remains uncertain and in limbo due to Republican efforts to overturn DACA in the courts and Republican efforts to block a legislative fix in Congress.
According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director at America’s Voice:
“The latest Republican attack on Dreamers and DACA is equal parts harmful and absurd. Is expanding healthcare for Dreamers supposed to entice more future immigrants to have been in the U.S. since 2007? I guess if you are attacking immigrants and immigration you don’t have to make sense in order to hold a hearing in the House of Representatives.
The DACA program works, Dreamers make America stronger, and Americans support Dreamers by overwhelming margins. This latest hearing is a crystal clear example of how House Republicans think about immigration and border issues and is a sad reflection of the current GOP. Hundreds of thousands of Dreamers have benefited from DACA’s protections and opportunities to build lives, careers, and families in the country they call home. The program has not just strengthened these recipients’ futures, but the country as a whole.
Instead of these ugly and ridiculous attacks, we should be working on solutions to fix our broken immigration system and provide Dreamers more opportunities to fully participate in the country they call home and for which they are already doing so much.”
- Read more on the larger context of Republicans’ relentless anti-immigrant focus in an assessment last week by America’s Voice here