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Senate immigration bill a good start, but raises concerns about access to health care

Posted On 2013 Apr 22
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A man with a placard that calls for family reunification at a rally in Washington D.C. last April 11 before U.S. senators unveiled an immigration reform bill that may allow deportees to be reunited with their families. . (Photo from Reform Immigration for America Facebook page)

A man with a placard that calls for family reunification at a rally in Washington D.C. last April 11 before U.S. senators unveiled an immigration reform bill that may allow deportees to be reunited with their families. . (Photo from Reform Immigration for America Facebook page)

WASHINGTON – Kathy Ko Chin, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF), issued the following statement in response to the comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced today in the Senate.
“We are pleased that the “gang of eight” worked across party lines to produce a bipartisan bill to start the much-needed process of overhauling our broken immigration system. The 2012 elections make it clear that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders – the fastest growing racial groups in the nation – are willing to flex their political power to move our country forward. Now is the time for swift action and compromise to bring our immigration system in line with our needs and values.

While this legislation takes a major step forward, it falls short in addressing the health needs of aspiring Americans, which is essential for full integration. No doubt compromises will be made to get this important piece of legislation passed, but we cannot afford to ignore the health and well-being of immigrant families and the entire nation.

Access to affordable, quality health insurance and care for Americans and aspiring Americans alike is an economic and moral necessity. We urge Congress to ensure that the future of our country is a healthy one for everyone by including access to affordable health care in immigration reform, and we look forward to working with lawmakers to make this happen.”

The Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum influences policy, mobilizes communities and strengthens programs and organizations to improve the health of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. Learn more at http://www.apiahf.org/.

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