This morning, FOX & Friends’ Brian Kilmeade featured Phil Kent of Americans for Immigration Control (AIC) — a designated hate group — to help promote the myth that undocumented immigrants will receive taxpayer-funded health care if health care reform passes. Kent also took the opportunity to insist that cracking down on undocumented immigrants won’t alienate Latino voters — a claim which was widely discredited last November:
KENT: The mask has fallen and the liberals actually want have the illegal immigrants to get the health care. And of course who’s this going to hurt? It’s going to hurt seniors and baby boomers. The care will be rationed on their end so they can cover on the other end the illegal immigrants. That’s the tool — that’s the force the Democratic Party wants to have as citizens and voters.
KILMEADE: Is the theme then if you start alienating — if you start cracking down on illegals you lose the Hispanic vote and the Democrats will not be caught doing that?
KENT: That’s the biggest myth of all of this illegal immigration problem. Polls consistently show — black, white, liberal, conservative, Anglo, Hispanic — everybody wants illegal immigration stopped period. End of discussion.
That might be the end of a discussion between a reporter who complained that Americans keep “marrying other species and other ethnics” and a spokesperson whose Executive Director claims that America is plagued by “europhobia” — racism that “targets Americans of European descent.” However, there’s a lot more to the debate that they left out. To begin with, both the House and Senate bills explicitly exclude undocumented immigrants. And while Kilmeade and Kent moan and groan about Democrats voting down amendments that proposed stringent verification mechanisms, the lawmakers actually had other reasons in mind.
In the House, the Heller Amendment would have given private insurance providers unprecedented access to the sensitive income and identity information, and the Deal Amendment would have “narrowed the categories” of legal immigrants who would be eligible for benefits. The language of the House bill currently suggests that the Health Choices Commissioner will be in charge of establishing a verification mechanism after the bill is passed, so that the one chosen best matches the finalized underlying process for receiving benefits. Given the stage that the health care debate is currently in, it’s actually too early to say at all whether lawmakers will ultimately accept or deny the inclusion of a verification mechanism during the legislative process in the first place.
Kent acts as if he’s looking out for the interests of seniors and baby boomers, but his organization is ultimately more preoccupied with safeguarding the “the racial and cultural composition of the United States.” Otherwise, he’d be more worried about Medicaid’s strict verification requirements which have cost taxpayers millions of dollars, blocked thousands of eligible citizens from receiving benefits, and netted only a few undocumented immigrants. AIC is the 501(c)(4) arm of the American Immigration Control Foundation (AICF). Kent is a spokesperson for AIC and sits on the board of AICF which is headed by John Vinson — a founding member of the white supremacist League of the South who has called for the “secession of the former Confederate states in order to protect the racial purity and economic viability of the white middle class.”
It’s not surprising that Kent and his hate group are so out of touch with the American people that they think demonizing immigrants through antagonistic policies and vicious vitriol won’t cost politicians any votes when in fact it has already cost Republicans multiple elections. Most Americans from all different backgrounds do want something done about immigration — but in the form of legislation that legalizes the undocumented workforce and requires them to pay taxes; levels the playing field for workers and employers; and restores the rule of law.