Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez (D-IL) stood on the House floor Wednesday and pledged legislation that would expand healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act to all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.
Inspired by the Pope’s speech before Congress last week encouraging members to follow the Golden Rule, Gutiérrez put his best foot forward in taking that message to heart:
Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you means moving forward with no restrictions on which brother and sister and neighbor we think of as “eligible” or “deserving.”
And so, he made his plea, one that will be resisted at every turn by his Republican colleagues:
The goal is to make integration and inclusion real for millions of families that are locked out under current law.
As it stands right now, undocumented immigrants are not subject to the individual mandate and cannot buy into health insurance exchanges even if they use their own money. My legislation will change that. It says that we stand for inclusion.
My party, and the vast majority of the country, understands that getting immigrants on the books and into the system, and integrating them into today’s American society should be the goal. Just as we have done with every other group of immigrants throughout our history. And my legislation… is a step in that direction.
Video of his full speech is below:
H/T Roll Call