April 3rd, 2013 at 10:01 am
By Paula Leite, Ma. Adela Angoa, Xochitl Castañeda, Emily Felt, Marc Schenker, and Telesforo Ramirez
Exclusion of unauthorized Mexican immigrants from the US public health system has not deterred migration, which is primarily driven by the demand for labor. It has, however, contributed to deepening social inequities in access to health care. These inequalities both reflect and are driven by differences in integration processes that vary by ethnic group/race and migration status. The most marginalized groups are those that are most excluded from the health system.
The Mexican immigrant population in the United States, in particular, experiences an unfavorable process of socioeconomic integration and, as a result, is less likely to be covered by health insurance programs, which is a major determinant in accessing medical services and enjoying long-term good health. Enrollment of Mexican immigrant women in US public health programs, in particular, is at a low level — 15 percent in 2012, according to… read more.
April 1st, 2013 at 8:36 am
THANK YOU for your quick action last week urging your senator to vote NO on two harmful immigrant-related budget amendments. With your help, the Senate rejected these attemptsby Senator Sessions (R-AL) to harm hardworking immigrant families.
During the Senate’s marathon “vote-a-rama” last week on the budget (S. Con. Res. 8), the Senate defeated, by a vote of 43 – 56, an amendment (#614, previously submitted as amendment #208) by Senator Sessions to deny access to affordable health care for those on the road to U.S. citizenship. The amendment was opposed by all of the Democratic senators voting, along with Senators Collins (R-ME), Murkowski (R-AK), King (I-ME), and Sanders (I-VT).
Senator Sessions’ amendment to deny all tax credits to immigrant working families, even after they earn legal status did not receive floor consideration and was not voted on.
Please have your organization join with us and sign this Thank You Letter - by COBWednesday April 3 - to all senators who voted NO on Sessions’ amendment #614.
If your senators voted NO, please also take a moment to call and thank them. Finally,please thank the following senators whose votes were critical to defeating this amendment: Senators Baucus (D-MT), Begich (D-AK), Collins (R-ME), Donnelly (D-IN),Hagan (D-NC), Heitkamp (D-ND), Johnson (D-SD), King (I-ME), Landrieu (D-LA),Manchin (D-WV), McCaskill (D-MO), Murkowski (R-AK), Pryor (D-AR), and Tester (D-MT).
Capitol switchboard: 1-866-220-0044
Sample script: I’m calling to thank Senator ____ for voting against Senator Sessions’ budget resolution amendment #614 that attempted to deny affordable health care to aspiring citizens. We ask for your leadership and support to ensure that Congress creates a road to U.S. citizenship for aspiring citizens, with all the rights, as well as responsibilities, citizenship entails.
April 1st, 2013 at 8:31 am
Hundreds of Detained Immigrants Held in Solitary Confinement
Every day, out of more than 30,000 detainees, roughly 300 immigrants are held in solitary confinement at the nation’s 50 largest detention centers overseen by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, according to federal data. Solitary confinement is one of most expensive forms of detention, the New York Times reports, and nearly half of immigrant detainees held in solitary confinement are isolated for 15 days or more – “the point at which psychiatric experts say they are at risk for severe mental harm.”
March 29th, 2013 at 3:56 pm
The New York Times
March 24, 2013
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
The momentum in Washington for immigration reform has been growing with amazing speed in recent weeks, and it seems that the question now is not whether Congress will try to fix the immigration system this year, but how big and effective the repairs will be. We hope that whatever bill emerges will continue to protect and unite families, preserving and strengthening a bedrock value of America’s immigration system.
It might be hard to imagine that America’s long tradition of allowing immigrants to sponsor spouses, children and siblings for visas would be threatened. But anti-immigration groups and lawmakers have long attacked the practice, using the slanderous and misleading term “chain migration,” which summons images of a relentless flow of undesirables, usually from south of the border. Even as some of the staunchest resistance to reform is crumbling — legalizing 11 million immigrants was unthinkable for leading Republicans a few months ago, and now even rock-ribbed Tea Partiers like Representative Rand Paul favor it — right-wing resistance to family migration persists.
Bills are still being drafted, but some lawmakers are reportedly trying to reduce or eliminate visas for extended family members in order to expand employment-based immigration. Advocates are resisting this zero-sum game.
These tensions emerged at a recent hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Mazie Hirono, Democrat of Hawaii, who led the hearing, spoke movingly of her own experience immigrating to Honolulu as a young girl, and yet joined other witnesses in explaining how the system falls short: she noted that it treats women unequally — many who arrive as dependent spouses are denied the right to work legally, and face discrimination and severe obstacles to assimilation. And Mee Moua, president of the Asian American Justice Center, explained how backlogs kept families separated for years, if not decades. “As of November 2012,” she said, “nearly 4.3 million close family members were waiting in the family-visa backlogs” — with Latino and Asian-American families most affected.
But even as Ms. Moua explained how important family visas are, Senator Jeff Sessions balked at the very concept. Using an example of two hypothetical Hondurans, he suggested that the visas were bad because some relatives can be underachievers. He ignored the powerful truth that family immigration is an economic bulwark. Families incubate job-creating businesses, provide a safety net for their members and hasten assimilation. Employment visas are important for companies to recruit needed workers. But these workers have spouses and children and siblings.
And we need workers at all levels of the economy: As Representative Luis Gutierrez of Illinois recently put it, “Silicon Valley engineers and entrepreneurs would not be very productive or competitive engines of our economy if they did not have food to eat, or people to care for their children or parents, or a clean office and clean clothes, or a made bed in their hotel room on a business trip.”
Immigration is more than a business relationship America has with selected foreigners. It’s a process that renews this country; it means going all-in on America, through binding ties of love and blood. Recruited workers enrich the country. Reunited families do, too.
March 20th, 2013 at 9:49 am