“Border deal” could endanger women’s health

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) expressed deep concern around an immigration reform “border deal” struck between Senators last night and finalized today. The deal, negotiated between the authors of the Senate bill for immigration reform and Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) would nearly double the number of border patrol agents — costing the U.S. government $30 billion dollars, adding an additional 350 miles of fencing along the southern border, and creating “triggers” that could endanger the path to citizenship. At the same time, the deal fails to address the harmful restrictions on access to affordable health care already present in the underlying Senate bill (S. 744). The Senate bill would force women and families on the roadmap to citizenship to wait 15 years or more before accessing affordable federal health coverage and family support programs.
Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of NLIRH issued the following statement:
“It seems some in the Senate are willing to dump billions more in heavy-handed immigration enforcement, yet unwilling to make common-sense, life-saving investments in the health and productivity of future U.S. citizens. Latinas, our families, and communities have spoken – and wish to fully integrate our immigrant brothers and sisters into the fabric of our society. Just as the majority of Americans support a roadmap to citizenship, 63 percent of Americans agree that aspiring citizens should be able to participate in Medicaid, and 59 percent believe people on the path to citizenship should be able to pay into and participate in the gains of health reform. We urge negotiators in the U.S. Senate to reevaluate their priorities. Reform should allow aspiring citizens to live with health and dignity, and fully contribute to our families, communities, and economy.”
The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health is the only national organization working on behalf of the reproductive health and justice of the 24 million Latinas, their families and communities in the United States through public education, community mobilization and policy advocacy.

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