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Stop Blaming the Undocumented

I’m relatively new to the social media game so I’m still surprised by some of the nonsense that permeates the twittosphere. It’s easy to see how public ignorance is perpetuated with all the obfuscation out there. Nowhere was this more apparent than on the Facebook page of a politician who shall remain nameless. Note – If you really want to know who it is, Google “Florida politician Iraq interrogation incident” and read up on him.
Anyway, he posted a picture to his page that showed some colorful text written on the back of a van. The text was in Spanish and urged people to sign up for the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare); informing them that it was totally free. The post was accompanied by the following:
Unbelievable. Guess where Obamacare navigators are signing up enrollees now. Who needs amnesty when you can get free healthcare anyway?
There are so many things wrong with this that I don’t even know where to start. First, just because an advertisement or public announcement is in Spanish doesn’t mean that its target is the undocumented immigrant community. Last time I checked you can still be a citizen and speak primarily Spanish. Second, if you are an undocumented immigrant or a lawful permanent resident within the first five years of your residency, you are not eligible for any means tested public benefit. For those that don’t believe me, take a look at the affidavit of affidavit of support that must be signed on behalf of any intending immigrant. Divorce won’t even wipe out that obligation!
Now if you point this out to anybody associated with the anti-immigrant crowd, the first response you’ll get will be something like, “…yeah, but even if they can’t get welfare, they have anchor babies and they get all kinds of welfare for them.” True, but the law does not distinguish between citizens who are “anchor babies” and those who are not…yet! I am no fan of the welfare state, but to attribute its negative externalities to the millions of undocumented immigrants in our country is intellectually dishonest.
If you want to hear more about this or any other immigration related topic, you can listen to @ckuck and @rockyrawcliffe discussing it here and here on @theimmhour.