A project of the Center for Community Change

NCLR

Immigrant Inclusion and the Health Care Debate

health care

While there is a lot of national attention on the health care debate at the moment, we shouldn’t forget that immigration and health care intersect in various and meaningful ways. Health care reform that doesn’t include access for immigrants would be a loss for the whole country. From NCLR:

…the positive impact of several reform proposals on the table may be undermined by additional measures that would severely restrict access to health coverage by mandating new, expensive verification and documentation procedures. “This debate should be about health care for all, and setting the nation on a pathway to future health and well-being. Adding layers of immigrant verification and bureaucratic red tape to a new health care system would guarantee that millions of citizen children are effectively barred from accessing preventive care and would raise the cost of health care,” Murguía noted.

“For this reason, we are extremely concerned that some view health reform as a way to scapegoat immigrants,” Murguía continued. “We agree that the immigration system needs to be fixed, but address that problem separately through immigration reform. The best way to reduce costs in our health care system is to ensure that people do not have to follow a long paper trail to get to the doctor and that everyone shares the costs of a new system. Making health care easier to use and accessible for all workers and children is simple common sense.”

Let’s hope that as the health care debate moves forward, a common-sense and inclusive approach is taken.

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Hearings to Confirm Sotomayor will start in July

sotomayor poster

According to today’s NY Times, confirmation hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor will begin July 13th. We all know her nomination has been surrounded in controversy – mostly from the usual crowd of extremists, but here’s to hoping her confirmation goes smoothly.

Senator Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), the chairman of the confirmation panel, says that the confirmation process could be over and done with as soon as the close of session in August. That is,

…unless some people put up the kind of obstacles that were not raised for the confirmation of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. four years ago.

Let’s be honest, the anti-Latino, reverse racism crying crowd are certainly going to be raising obstacles, but let’s hope the process is rooted in Sotomayor’s voting record, which incidentally has gotten fairly little media coverage. Take action and sign the petition from NCLR to RNC Chairman Michael Steele to stop the attacks on Latinos and Sotomayor.

Props to Favianna Rodriguez, the artist behind the lovely poster at the top of this post.

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ACTION: Sign the Petition to Stop the Smear Campaign against Sotomayor and NCLR

So we all knew that the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor would bring the extreme attacks from the usual crowd. What we didn’t know is exactly how far they would go.

Last week, Tom Tancredo (the ever-present anti-immigrant xenophobe from Colorado) called the National Council of La Raza (who Sotomayor is affiliated with) “‘a Latino KKK without the hoods and the nooses”. This attack on NCLR, which is a Latino advocacy organization that does great work to aid in education and civil rights for Latinos and people of color in the United States, is based solely on the inclusion of “La Raza” (the race) in their title.

From NCLR:

This outburst was reprehensible not only to Hispanics and communities of color, but to all Americans who want to put this ugly chapter of our history behind us.

Check out the video below to see Janet Murguia, the president and CEO of the NCLR, respond to Tancredo’s outrageous claims.

Help stop the smear campaign against Sotomayor and NCLR by signing THIS PETITION to Chairman Michael Steele of the RNC to condemn these statements as soon as possible.

And, for the record, from TPM:

literal translation [of La Raza]  is “The Race” (according to their Web site, other possibilities include “the people” and “the community”) and in the full linguistic context it refers essentially to advancing the civil rights and economic opportunities of Latinos. As a comparison, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People does not propose to oppress non-blacks, and the American Jewish Committee doesn’t aim to keep the Gentiles down.

And, as a Latin American Studies student, I know that “La Raza” comes from “La Raza Cosmica”, a term coined by Jose Vasconcelos, a Mexican intelectual in an essay from 1925. Vasconcelos’ notion of the “cosmic race” was the combination of various races and ethnicities into one “cosmic” people or community. His term actually blurs racial lines, as opposed to sharpening them. Maybe this should be some required reading for Mr. Tancredo…

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