Immigrant Latinas and families deserve reform that respects and supports the health, success, and human dignity of our communities, and allows aspiring citizens the opportunity to fully contribute to our families, communities, and economy.
- All members of Congress
Re: #15years is Too Long to Wait: Health and Justice for Immigrant Women Now!
Dear Senators and Representatives:
As our nation moves forward with immigration reform, we the undersigned Latinas, immigrant women, and families and allies, are deeply concerned that the health care needs of immigrant women and children have been left behind. Today, many immigrant women in our communities struggle to obtain the necessary health care to live full, productive lives – and many live without any health care options at all. Under the immigration bill that just passed the Senate (S. 744), these families would be forced to wait 15 years or longer before seeing a doctor—despite the fact that they’d be working and paying into health care programs the whole time.
We know that being able to take care of her health better prepares an immigrant woman to start a business, go to school, and contribute to her workplace, family, and community. We also know that for a woman with undetected cervical cancer or other untreated illness, a 15-year delay in getting health coverage could be the difference between life and death.
In addition to the human costs, forcing women and families to wait over a decade for health care undermines the social and economic potential of entire communities and hurts our nation’s economy. Denying aspiring citizens the ability to benefit from the very health programs they pay into with their tax dollars makes it harder for those families to be successful in the long term. The restrictions on access to health care in S. 744 are unjust, unwise, and un-American – simply out of line with our values as a nation(1).
Latinas, immigrant women, families, and allies will be watching the ongoing immigration reform debate in Washington, D.C. very carefully. We urge lawmakers to listen to our concerns and take these important issues seriously. After all, no member of Congress would want their sick mother or child to wait 15 years for health care. We demand immigration reform that respects and supports the health, success, and human dignity of our communities, and allows aspiring citizens the opportunity to fully contribute to our families, communities, and economy.
Congress should deliver nothing less.
(1)63% of Americans believe those on the roadmap to citizenship should be eligible for Medicaid and 59% believe they should be eligible for affordability options under the ACA. HENRY J. KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION. Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: February 2013. February 27, 2013. http://kff.org/report-section/february-2013-tracking-poll-findings/
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