Saturday, December 8, 2007

I Cannot Believe John Barrow Said This

John Barrow has been nipping on a little too much of the Blue Dog Kool-Aid. The latest issue of La Voz Latina is carrying a story about him with this headline: U.S. Congressman Wants to Ban Immigrant Children From Public Schools. In the article, John Newton reports that recently, when Barrow was speaking in Savannah, the congressman made it clear that he is opposed to any form of federal aid for undocumented workers-including emergency medical care and public school education for their children. In response to a question about whether he would support legislation to that end, Barrow reportedly said:

"Yes, sir," he replied. We already have legislation that denies Medicare and Medicaid benefits to people who have no right to be here. I believe it already is the policy of this federal government to require that a condition for getting
federal aid and education is that you have to be legally entitled to be here in the first place. That's the policy that I support."


And

"It is fair to point out that people who are here illegally have left an economy
where they had no medical benefits to begin with."

Even Mike Huckabee knows better than this. Even Huckabee successfully argued that you don't punish children for the sins of their parents.

Forget what's "right" here. From a purely practical perspective, doesn't Barrow understand that failure to provide basic medical care for children-regardless of how they came to be here-creates a public health problem for all of us? When children are not immunized or have communicable diseases that go untreated, we are all at greater risk.

And, does he not understand that failure to educate children-regardless of how they came to be here-creates a public safety problem for all of us? It is not as if we can pretend that these children are not here, so if they're not in school, what does Barrow think they'll be doing with their time? If they grow up unhealthy and illiterate, what impact does he think that will have on the quality of life in our communities?

Given that children who do not complete high school are incarcerated at a higher rate than others, unless Barrow also proposes that we withhold from the children of undocumented workers the privilege of appearing in juvenile court and becoming residents of the nearest jail, all he's doing is asking taxpayers to spend the most money possible in the least effective manner. That makes zero sense. Children should never become the front line in the battle to stop illegal immigration.

4 comments:

Tina said...

And shall we become a third world country where people step over the dying in the streets? Shall we order the ambulance to turn around and leave the scene of an accident if the broken and bleeding person is not "legal"? A civilized country should not deny emergency medical care to anyone. He needs to carefully consider the implications of what he has said. I just don't think that Mr. Barrow would actually stand in the emergency room door.....

Amy Morton said...

No kidding. What short sited political rhetoric.

Don Thieme said...

I think that Barrow might have been thinking about higher education rather than K-12. Nonetheless, I felt that he betrayed his base of support among liberal democrats in the Athens area even before he made the move to Savannah.

At this point, Barrow has now been forced pretty far to the right of center when you compare him with other members of congress. He supports the war in Iraq. He is against gun control. He is against women's right to choose. I believe that Barrow did support the last immigration bill, though, unlike most of the rest of Georgia's elected representatives.

Tina said...

My feeling about the immigration ":problem" is
that it has been allowed to happen through "benign neglect" because there are big land owners and other folks in agriculture, landscaping etc who want cheap labor without having to provide adequate pay, benefits,or legal accountability.
The Mexicans are being USED by these employers. So you hire an illegal person and he or she gets sick or hurt on the job....you can just say, "So long, I never saw you before in all my life." It's the "onshore" equivalent of offshore sweatshops in my estimation.