Rhetoric Against Public Charge Law Gets Feverish



Peddling a mixture of victimology and false suppositions, a commentator in the Washington Post claims the Trump administration’s public-charge policy invites “a looming public health crisis.”

“Scaring vulnerable populations off public assistance and blocking use of public programs could cost much more in the long run, because neglecting preventive health care and basic medical problems creates chronic and complex medical problems, making patients more expensive to treat down the road,” writes Goleen Samari, a demographer at Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco.

To hammer home her specious argument, Ms. Samari props up a racial bogeyman, declaring, “Latino Americans experience more barriers to accessing health care and higher rates of ‘poor mental-health days.’”

“Public-health recognizes that anti-immigrant policies are forms of racism,” she concludes.

Asking immigrants to be self-sufficient including ensuring that they have the financial ability to take care of their basic and foreseeable health care needs, is neither racist, nor unreasonable. It is simply good public policy, which is why it has been part of our immigration law since 1882.

No one is suggesting that the public charge policy would disqualify people who went to a public hospital to get a flu shot or some other vaccination. That is hysteria being whipped up by activists, and they are the ones willing to put immigrants’ health at risk by spreading false information.

Ms. Samari’s emotional arguments are yet another way the open-borders lobby infantilizes immigrants. To cite a parallel example:

In order to convince illegal aliens to report crimes, Americans are told we need sanctuary policies to assure that police will never, ever, under any circumstance divulge information to ICE. And this claim is consistently made in the absence of any credible evidence that illegal aliens are afraid of state and local law enforcement. In fact, the available evidence suggests that aliens, even those illegally here, aren’t even afraid of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, witness the vocal “undocumented and unafraid” movement.

Likewise, Ms. Samari insists that any reasonable enforcement of public charge rules will lead people to avoid vaccination and other routine medical care, resulting in a risk to public health. Implicit in Samari’s warning is the notion that Americans are obligated to pay for the health care needs of all migrants (legal and illegal), while migrants have no obligation to respect the laws of the United States, or – with regard to green card holders – honor the promises they made to be self-sufficient. That is a morally lopsided view that imposes an unfair burden on hardworking Americans, many of whom can’t afford to pay for their own healthcare.

Like anyone else, immigrants can and do experience unpredictable health emergencies. What the public charge rule is intended to ensure is that recent arrivals and their sponsors have the financial wherewithal to do what most Americans do, and address their own healthcare and other needs.

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.

4 Comments

  1. avatar

    I am afraid to retire when I reach the age of 62 since my healthcare insurance, dental, and vision will go up tremendously while the others are getting medical treatment at the cost of the taxpayers, so much more, I will not be able to afford a decent elderly home since US Citizens are charged more than the others who shouldn’t be eligible to stay in the US. What are really our entitlements, rights, and privilliges as very hard worker and committed US Citizens?

    • avatar

      The Answer is Simple IMO

      I’m 65 and retired, but am empathetic of those that do not have quality private health insurance and let’s be honest….it ain’t Medicare. If you can’t get Blue Cross, Group Health or equivalent at any age you’ll be lucky to find a doctor that accepts just Medicare now, they’re all going bankrupt.

      Sooooooo…what’s the answer? I’d say we need to force the companies to offer good private insurance at work and in pensions too….the price will plummet when we do that.

  2. avatar

    There’s a very simple solution to the public charge “problem”. She is avoiding the main point, which is the fact that FAR TOO MANY immigrants end up on some kind of public assistance program. The solution is to stop the vast majority of those people from coming here to begin with. All she has done is show that it IS a problem. That is now the talking point, which has changed from the previous propaganda that immigrants “weren’t eligible” for any assistance and their presence here was pure gravy. For the 1000th time, mass immigration of low education low skilled low income people into a country with vast social programs IS NOT a formula for success.

    And totally related to this issue is the fact that all the talk about how we “need more workers” is patently false. This is from a recent Associated Press story: “More than half of all workplace tasks will be carried out by machines by 2025, organizers of the Davos economic forum said in a report released Monday that highlights the speed with which the labor market will change in coming years.”

    Key word is “speed”. We are already seeing it everywhere. Now there are even machines replacing workers on two lane roads where one lane is blocked. Instead of guys with flags it’s machines with automatic gates and flashing stop and go. Walmart has automatic checkout. Instead of 7 or 8 cashiers there are now a couple and then a couple watching the dozen automatic checkouts. There is NO WAY we need more unskilled people coming here.

    Gotta love the press. Last night on NBC Lester Holt proclaims “NBC has learned the FBI did not interview dozens of witnesses in the Kavanaugh probe.” Uh, wasn’t it made clear a week ago that the interviews would be with people directly connected to the matter? Didn’t the Democrats say “just give us a week”? Ten people were questioned. Now apparently every person Kavanaugh had a beer with 35 years ago needs to be interviewed.

    • avatar

      Automation Replacing Jobs in America at an Alarming Rate Already

      Banking
      Groceries
      Key Making
      Change Machines
      Burger Flippers Already Designed
      Amazon Robots With Employees in Cages
      Farm Combines
      Robot Replacement Wives from China
      etc, etc….

      By 2040 robots could replace us all some say?

      Immigration or more population is a joke now, especially with manufacturing basically eliminated in America to date. Time to for a new paradigm.