God's Politics

God's Politics


Rev. Derrick Harkins: Immigration and Family Values

posted by gp_intern

The immigration system in America is beyond broken; it is in crisis. Because it is not simply a crisis limited to issues of documentation and border enforcement, but rather one that is tearing at the very fabric of individuals, families, and communities, it is a crisis that the church is, in my opinion, compelled to address.

The Hebrew prophet Micah declared that God’s expectation of the faithful is to “do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” We take in part, from that mandate, the understanding of bringing both justice and compassion to circumstances of human need. And also we understand the need to soberly, humbly, and prayerfully consider the response from the church to this crisis in order that far more light than heat is added to the present dialogue and subsequent solutions.

I commend Congress as it begins the “heavy lifting” of crafting legislation that is fair and comprehensive, that keeps our nation secure, and that preserves family values as well as strengthening the economic and social fabric of our society.

But I also come to you today with a pastor’s heart, and with the deeply held concern that any laws enacted consider the very American tradition of compassion. The heart of what we teach, preach, and live is anchored in the Good News, Christ’s saving and liberating love and compassion that has not built walls, but “broken every barrier down.”

Family, in its strongest and most stable structure, is an essential pillar of our society. Within the church the institution of family is supported, encouraged, and applauded. In my own congregation, I see again and again – and am truly thankful for – the examples of family strength and values in the homes and lives of those who have immigrated to the United States.

The limitation of family-based immigration by the reduction of family reunification visas would impair that family structure in significant measure. Siblings, adult children, and parents (those directly affected by any potential reduction) are in many examples and cultural contexts core, and not merely “extended,” family. It is also important to note here the idea of “chain” immigration, the concept asserting that immigrants sponsor an uncontrollable number of family members, is without basis. In reality, only immigrants who have already gained legal permanent residency or U.S. citizenship are able to sponsor relatives, and on average only 1.2 family members are sponsored.

It is within the structure of families that immigration reform can wield the most enduring benefits. Through a process of restitution, integration into the larger community, and a pathway to earned citizenship, we will do away with a system that has kept millions of hard-working individuals who wish to become productive, law-abiding members of our society in the shadows, and has prevented numerous families from being fully intact and stable (two conditions that benefit society).

Finally, let me say that many within the historically African-American church have made their voices heard in support of comprehensive immigration reform. Like the overwhelming majority of all Americans, African-American voters support immigration reform that includes enforcement and a path to citizenship. It is the legitimate continuing legacy of the civil rights struggle and part of the very nature of the African-American church that one should speak for those who have no voice, advocate for those who have no power, and stand for those who are not represented. But with a fair and compassionate earned pathway to citizenship, those who are now in the shadows will be able to speak, be empowered, and stand for themselves.

Rev. Derrick Harkins is Senior Pastor of the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. He previously has served as a pastor in Dallas, Texas, and as the Assistant Pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York. He is a member of the Board of Directors for World Relief, and a vice president of the North American Baptist Fellowship of the Baptist World Alliance. This post is adapted from his testimony to the Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law in the House of Representatives on May 22, 2007.



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Don

posted May 23, 2007 at 10:07 pm


Thank you, Rev. Harkins. You articulated my concerns as well. Peace,



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splinterlog

posted May 23, 2007 at 10:25 pm


It is the legitimate continuing legacy of the civil rights struggle Well said! Like the civil rights stuggle this is also a social demand that a society that benefits from the labour of individuals grants these individuals the dignity under law that they deserve in return.We’ve all seen what globalized “free-market” labour supply has meant for workers in Middle Eastern States like Dubai where expatriate labourers build the futuristic cities brick by brick and are then carted off after their work days to be hidden in labour camps in the middle of the desert where they receive pay erratically, have little to no worksite protection/insurance and are deported at the slightest whiff of opposition.Let’s keep America from turning further down that road.



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Eric

posted May 23, 2007 at 10:47 pm


I’m going to keep my comments short because this topic can get out of hand real quick on these blogs. Two points: 1) Rev. Harkins writes “Like the overwhelming majority of Americans, African-American voters support immigration reform that includes enforcement and a path to citizenship.” I recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that over 60% of African Americans polled actually “opposed Bush’s proposal to allow illegal immigrants to earn legal status.” Hmmmm…Maybe he’s just extrapolating out from the black people he knows. Or maybe he shouldn’t be acting as if he speaks for African American voters. 2) I’d be interested in knowing what the Rev. means when he says he supports enforcement and a path to citizenship. Enforcement of which laws? Immigration laws? I assume, based on the rest of his commentary, that he’d be screaming to high heaven if our immigration/employment/border laws were actually being enforced. How can you have enforcement and amnesty at the same time? Can someone please explain?



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Wolverine

posted May 23, 2007 at 10:51 pm


Derrick Harkins wrote: In reality, only immigrants who have already gained legal permanent residency or U.S. citizenship are able to sponsor relatives, and on average only 1.2 family members are sponsored. Erm, that figure applies to legal immigrants, not illegals. But if I read this right, each legal LPR sponsors 1.2 family members. So by legalizing 12,000,000 currently illegal immigrants we are liable to have another 14,400,000 sponsored under family reunification. No problemo… Wolverine



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bobc

posted May 24, 2007 at 12:39 am


I have issues with the entire christian stance on immigration.So call me a bigot but build a fence. We must control the flow of people. Put lots of turnstyles in but everyone who comes in gets a SS card and a medical check for diseases. They must agree to learning English and progress must be tracked. The kids go to schools. Then crack down on those who hire illegals. Massive heavy fines and fines in the lieu of back pay. I lived a lot of years in Phoenix and the immigration problem is overwhelming social services. Anyone who says buss them back or they must leave the country and reenter is clueless about the problem. Ther is no way to move 12 Mil people and it is nonsense to force people out then back. To those who are working and are productive, as long as they learn English and can pass a citizenship test then let them stay as citizens. Work with Mexico to stem the flow as they are having their own immigration issues from their Southern borders. Repeal NAFTA and CAFTA as this encourages job migration out of the US..out of Mexico..to Asia and now Africa. The Amnesty charge is a joke as the alternative is do nothing or make the problem worse by allowing people in with no path to success. Be aware that prices for goods generated by illegals will go up. In reality, we are paying it anyway in the form of higher social service costs.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 24, 2007 at 3:44 am


Good post. From your mouth to God’s ears.



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jurisnaturalist

posted May 24, 2007 at 4:00 am


Unless one is going to open the borders to all who can provide their own way here, there must be some form of allocating who we let in and who we don’t. No matter which method is chosen it will be unjust, someone will be excluded for some reason other than their merits. When we leave it in the hads of the state to make subjective value judgments such as “good immigrant”, “bad immigrant” we should not be surprised when later it starts to make a distinction between “good citizen,” “bad citizen.” The proper role of the church is to meet the needs of the strangers in our gates BEFORE they can appeal to the state for support. We should put ourselves out caring for the least of these, if they really are among the least of these. Arbitrary judgments according to state measures make it difficult to discern, because those who might be productive are prevented from doing so. To all those concerned that the “Mexicans are taking our jobs,” stop and consider how many jobs they are creating, and how many more they would create if left uninhibited.



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jurisnaturalist

posted May 24, 2007 at 4:10 am


bobc You are half right. Any costs which immigrants impose on US citizens through government redistribution of wealth ought to be repealed, as all redistribution of wealth is an attack on the institution of private property which is the foundation of all justice and economic growth. NAFTA and CAFTA and GATT ought to be repealed… and replaced with unilateral free trade policy. No tariffs, no quotas. Just the best product at the best price. Impose a customs fee to pay for inspection against contraband, but that is all. Restrictions on trade only hurt the one who imposes the restriction. Learning English ought not to be an enforced requirement for entry. Most individuals can be productive and lead full lives without it.



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kevin s.

posted May 24, 2007 at 5:11 am


” Put lots of turnstyles in but everyone who comes in gets a SS card and a medical check for diseases.” There was another person who was fond of the SS. His name was Adolf Hitler. I’m not saying you are a nazi, though. Eric, Do you have a link to the MSNBC poll? It was probably just a poll of Nazis, but I’m curious.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 24, 2007 at 5:46 am


You just can’t let it go, can you Kevin?



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bobc

posted May 24, 2007 at 3:40 pm


Kevin, I don’t understand your referance to Hitler; unless you seceretly still worship him. The turnstyle approach is similar to what happened at Ellis Island. As far as not learning English…this is mandatory to encourage people to develop a sense of identity with US society. We must encourage full participation in society and learning Englisg encourages that. In reality, it takes about three generations for people to become assimilated. With the amount of people we are talking about, we need to cut this time in half. justnatural Not free trade but fair trade. There must be sets of common rule sets between countries. There should be agreements on environmental standards, just compensation, health and safety standards…No one has the right to rape and pillage their own people to trade with others. If they choose to do so then we should choose not to do business with them.



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Donny

posted May 24, 2007 at 3:45 pm


Reverend Hawkins, You could have stopped at your first paragraph. OK, let’s go Biblical for reference in immigration shall we? Daniel. He stays speaking Hebrew only and he goes no where. “We” go know where. Comprende? /// Zoom to 2007: Not one of my African-American friends or co-workers, nor I, have ANY problem with Mexicans and other “Latin” immigrants . . . EXCEPT THE FACT . . . that THEY will not assimilate.Mexicans get no support from “Americans” for wanting to come TO America and BE Mexicans. They have shown an absolute disdain for wanting to become Americans. Hopefully you and other lefties, do not compare Africans that have embraced the American identity – when they have every right to have wanted to leave (ever heard of Liberia?) – when there are literally MILLIONS of Mexicans IN THIS COUNTRY, that have remained completely Spanish-only speaking. Now certainly Africans (through legalized slavery) who were forced to come to “this” country were also forced to speak some words of English.”Back in the day.” Barak Obama is not speaking an African language on his Presidential campaign trail today. Condoleza Rice does not represent the USA in Swahili. Can you see the forest for the trees? It’s about culture and not about race. It is about America and nothing else. Our cultutre was developed and is stabilized IN English.



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Eric

posted May 24, 2007 at 4:11 pm


Kevin, Here’s where I read about the poll. I don’t have the actual data or the question asked. http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2007/04/26/169075.aspx I assume your comments about Nazis was sarcasm. If so, it was funny.



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kevin s.

posted May 24, 2007 at 6:58 pm


“I assume your comments about Nazis was sarcasm. If so, it was funny.” Um, yes… Thanks for the link to the poll. I have said that there is a lot of common ground between conservatives and black people, and that Republicans would do well to build on those points. School choice (including vouchers), gay marriage and immigration are all winners, so why not at least highlight the conservative position on them? Instead, they seem more interested in sorta pretending to be liberal for black audiences. Gee, that’s not patronizing or anything. “I don’t understand your referance to Hitler; unless you seceretly still worship him.” Secretly? I am out and proud with my Hitler worship. Or I was joking. One of the two. Either way, I agree with your points.



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God's Politics Moderator

posted May 24, 2007 at 10:36 pm


“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29) This message thread has been visited by a God’s Politics Blog moderator for the purpose of removing inappropriate posts. Click here for a detailed explanation of the Beliefnet Rules of Conduct: http://www.beliefnet.com/about/rules.asp which includes: Help us keep the conversation civil and respectful by reporting inappropriate posts to: community@staff.beliefnet.com 2



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canucklehead

posted May 25, 2007 at 1:45 am


Hey – what are them there numbers for right above God’s Politics Moderator? 2? Does that mean there have been 2 penalties? 2 minute penalties? 2 people flagged? If so, I’m now taking bets as to which two who have contributed to this thread are being flagged…please remit in U.S. cash only.



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canucklehead

posted May 25, 2007 at 1:47 am


Speaking of which, our dollar hit $.92 cents US today – the highest in 30 years. So expect the 49th to be flooded with Canucks heading South – we’re going to take you over, set up a similar society between Americans and Mexicans as we did between the English and French after which we will retreat to drink our Molson’s and watch you all live happily ever after.



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Don

posted May 25, 2007 at 2:25 am


“ey – what are them there numbers for right above God’s Politics Moderator? 2?” BELIEFNET on the POWER PLAY!!! :-)



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Wolverine

posted May 25, 2007 at 5:04 am


Actually, I think it’s basketball: he’s awarding two free throws. Wolverine



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Sarasotakid

posted May 25, 2007 at 2:40 pm


Canucklehead, Don’t expect the same virulent reaction about Canadians that there has been about Mexicans and other groups being here. It’s not a race or ethnic thing, mind you, it’s just that those would either deport them or make their lives miserable through attrition really like hockey and Canadian beer.



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neuro_nurse

posted May 25, 2007 at 8:07 pm


Study: 38 Percent Of People Not Actually Entitled To Their Opinion MAY 23, 2007 | ISSUE 43 21CHICAGO In a surprising refutation of the conventional wisdom on opinion entitlement, a study conducted by the University of Chicago’s School for Behavioral Science concluded that more than one-third of the U.S. population is neither entitled nor qualified to have opinions. “On topics from evolution to the environment to gay marriage to immigration reform, we found that many of the opinions expressed were so off-base and ill-informed that they actually hurt society by being voiced,” said chief researcher Professor Mark Fultz, who based the findings on hundreds of telephone, office, and dinner-party conversations compiled over a three-year period. “While people have long asserted that it takes all kinds, our research shows that American society currently has a drastic oversupply of the kinds who don’t have any good or worthwhile thoughts whatsoever. We could actually do just fine without them.” In 2002, Fultz’s team shook the academic world by conclusively proving the existence of both bad ideas during brainstorming and dumb questions during question-and-answer sessions. http://www.theonion.com/content/node/61948



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Don

posted May 25, 2007 at 8:20 pm


“Study: 38 Percent Of People Not Actually Entitled To Their Opinion” Well, this statement probably sounds elitist to many, but my experience bears it out.But what should we do? We can’t exactly prevent people from voicing ill-informed opinions. Educating seems to be impossible, since people with ill-informed opinions tend to hang onto them despite conclusive evidence demonstrating their fallaciousness. Any thoughts?



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Wolverine

posted May 25, 2007 at 8:59 pm


The question is: which 38 percent? Wolverine



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jurisnaturalist

posted May 25, 2007 at 9:31 pm


The Onion is a joke, people. No one is really entitled to their opinion, and opinion is not something you receive title to, it is something you formulate through mental labor. Therefore, those who think about an issue and develop an opinion have a right to the fruit of their labors, rather than an entitlement. Those who merely steal the opinions of others, or who do not think at all, do not share in this right.



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Sarasotakid

posted May 26, 2007 at 6:05 am


I share your opinion Jurisnaturalist! Thanks for thinking it through for me!



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Patti Harrison

posted May 26, 2007 at 7:35 am


I live in Tucson, AZ, and here I do see the Mexican population taking every advantage they can for a handout, but they give nothing back in return. And yes, they do refuse to speak the language on the land which is English, well American. I volunteer in a hospital where on average the wait time to be see is over 4 hours on a good day, 8-12 on a bad day! The 12 million that are here, when will they pay the back fines and taxes that they owe, will the Mexican government do so, will the so-called bleeding-heart liberals, and where are the churches that will step in, will they pay? We are dying from the debt down here in Tucson and in Arizona, will the Government truly help us save our Hospitals,our services that are drying up because the illegals that are using the services wrongly! Where is the compassion for us?



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Don

posted May 26, 2007 at 10:55 pm


Patti: Maybe if you would take the time to become acquainted with a few of the “Mexican population” in Tucson, you might actually become friends with one or two of them. Then maybe you could begin to see things a bit from their perspective, such as how difficult it really is to learn English, especially since there is a shortage of classroom space and qualified teachers. I know it might take a bit of courage on your part, as well as some willingness to perhaps be a little uncomfortable with the unfamiliar. But it’s really, really worth a try. It’s certainly far better than lumping them all in a category in order to dismiss them, castigate them, and talk about them as if you would like them all to go away. Peace,



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canucklehead

posted May 27, 2007 at 1:35 am


Right on, Don.



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neuro_nurse

posted May 27, 2007 at 6:04 pm


I live in New Orleans where there has been an influx of Hispanics following Katrina. Most of these are working in construction, helping to rebuild this city. I welcome the diversity that these new residents bring to this city. I also mourn the loss of New Orleans African-American majority. Contrary to Patti s anecdotal observation, I do not see Hispanics as major consumers of health care services in New Orleans. I can cite multiple (peer-reviewed medical) studies that conclude that in general, the Hispanic population in the U.S. underutilizes health care services. I’m looking forward to having better Mexican restaurants here. Peace!



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neuro_nurse

posted May 28, 2007 at 12:18 am


there are literally MILLIONS of Mexicans IN THIS COUNTRY, that have remained completely Spanish-only speaking.So what? Is that a problem for you? Is your objection to Spanish-speaking people in this country based on a Christian value or belief, or is it just inconvenient for YOU?will the Government truly help us save our Hospitals,our services that are drying up because the illegals that are using the services wrongly! (sic) Show me evidence that there is any truth to that statement.I volunteer in a hospitalIn other words, this is your anecdotal observation. I suspect you don t have objective data to support your conclusions. Here s some data I found that suggests that your assumptions about health care utilization in the U.S. are wrong:Multivariate models show that Mexicans and Cubans are less likely, and Puerto Ricans more likely, to have any emergency department visits than non-Hispanic whites. Mexicans, Central American/Caribbeans, and South Americans are less likely to have any prescription medications. All Hispanics are less likely to have any ambulatory visits and prescription medications, whereas only those with a Spanish-language interview are less likely to have emergency department visits and inpatient admissions. More recent immigrants are less likely to have any ambulatory care or emergency department visits, whereas all Hispanics born outside the United States are less likely to have any prescription medications.Weinick, R. M., Jacobs, E. A., Stone, L. C., Ortega, A. N., Burstin, H. (2004). Hispanic healthcare disparities: challenging the myth of a monolithic Hispanic population. Medical Care, 42(4), 313-320. Latinos were less likely than white non-Latinos to have entered the health system for any type of care, to have been admitted to a hospital, or to have used preventive care. Access to a regular source of care along with financial factors reduced the ethnic/racial gap in the use of any care and preventive care, yet cultural and behavioral factors contributed little. Guendelman, S., Wagner, T. H., (2000). Health services utilization among Latinos and white non-Latinos: results of a national survey. Journal of Health Care for the Poor & Underserved, 11(2), 179-194. On average, Latinos and African Americans have both worse health and worse access to effective health care than do non-Hispanic whites [.] On most measures of health status, African Americans are the most disadvantaged population, while on most measures of access to care, Latinos are worse off. Waidmann, T. A., Rajan, S. (2000). Race and ethnic disparities in health care access and utilization: an examination of state variation. Medical Care Research & Review, 57[Supple. 1] 55-84. You should look over the following sets of data before you respond to me: Race, ethnicity & medical care: a survey of public perceptions and experiences. http://www.kff.org/minorityhealth/upload/Race-Ethnicity-Medical-Care-Chartpack-1999.pdf Key facts: race, ethnicity and medical care, 2007 update. http://www.kff.org/minorityhealth/6069.cfm Eliminating racial & ethnic disparities. http://www.cdc.gov/omh/AboutUs/disparities.htm Peace!



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jurisnaturalist

posted May 28, 2007 at 1:13 am


neuro, Your facts are excellent, but it still does not answer the drain on public funds objection. This can only be met with eradication of state supported social programs.



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neuro_nurse

posted May 28, 2007 at 1:54 am


This can only be met with eradication of state supported social programs. jurisnaturalist and that would be a good thing?Declining welfare caseloads may lead to a sicker population remaining in the Medicaid program, which could increase per enrollee costs and the level of adequate capitation rates. Using data from the 1997 National Survey of America’s Families for adults and children, we examine differences in health status and utilization among welfare recipients and welfare leavers who did and did not retain Medicaid. We adjust utilization differences for insurance status and factors often used to adjust capitation rates. We conclude that declining welfare caseloads likely will result in a sicker and more expensive adult Medicaid risk pool.Garrett, B., Holahan, J. (2002). Do welfare caseload declines make the Medicaid risk pool sicker? Inquiry, 39(1), 12-33. TANF implementation is associated with an 8.1 percent increase in the probability that a welfare-eligible woman was uninsured. Welfare reform had less of an impact on the health insurance coverage of children. For example, TANF implementation was associated with a 3.0 percent increase in the probability that a welfare-eligible child lacked health insurance. Conclusions: An unintended consequence of welfare reform was to adversely impact the health insurance coverage of economically vulnerable women and children, and that this impact was several times larger than the previous literature implies.Cawley, J., Schroeder, M., Simon, K. I. (2006). How did welfare reform affect the health insurance coverage of women and children? Health Services Research, 41(2), 486-506. [Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act] increased the proportion of uninsured among low-educated, foreign-born, unmarried women by 9.9-10.7 percentage points. In contrast, the effect of PRWORA on the health insurance coverage of similar U.S.-born women is negligible. PRWORA also increased the proportion of uninsured among foreign-born children living with low-educated, single mothers by 13.5 percentage points. Again, the policy had little effect on the health insurance coverage of the children of U.S.-born, low-educated single mothers. There is some evidence that the fear and uncertainty engendered by the law had an effect on immigrant health insurance coverage. Conclusions: This research demonstrates that PRWORA adversely affected the health insurance of low-educated, unmarried, immigrant women and their children. In the case of unmarried women, it may be partly because the jobs that they obtained in response to PRWORA were less likely to provide health insurance. The research also suggests that PRWORA may have engendered fear among immigrants and dampened their enrollment in safety net programs.Kaushal, N., Kaestner, R. (2005). Welfare reform and health insurance of immigrants. Health Services Research, 40(3), 697-721. The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) changed the nature, purpose, and financing of public aid. Researchers, administrators, and policymakers expressed special concern about the act’s impact on low-income mothers with substance use disorders. Before PRWORA’s passage, however, little was known about the true prevalence of these disorders among welfare recipients or about the likely effectiveness of substance abuse treatment interventions for welfare recipients. Subsequent research documented that substance abuse disorders are less widespread among welfare recipients than was originally thought and are less common than other serious barriers to self-sufficiency. This research also showed significant administrative barriers to the screening, assessment, and referral of drug-dependent welfare recipients.Metsch, L. R., Pollack, H. A. (2005). Welfare reform and substance abuse. Milbank Quarterly, 83(1), 65-99. After controlling for potential confounding factors, children in families whose welfare was terminated or reduced by sanctions had greater odds of being food insecure (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-1.9), of having been hospitalized since birth (AOR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.0-1.7) and, for the emergency department subsample, of being admitted the day of an emergency department visit (AOR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.2-3.0) compared with those without decreased benefits. Children in families whose welfare benefits were decreased administratively because of changes in income or expenses had greater odds of being food insecure (AOR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1-2.2) and of being admitted the day of an emergency department visit (AOR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.4-5.6). Receiving food stamps does not mitigate the effects of the loss or reduction of welfare benefits on food security or hospitalizations. Conclusion: Terminating or reducing welfare benefits by sanctions, or decreasing benefits because of changes in income or expenses, is associated with greater odds that young children will experience food insecurity and hospitalizations.Cook, J. T., Frank, D. A., Berkowitz, C., Black, M. M., Casey, P. H., Cutts, D. B., et al. (2002). Welfare reform and the health of young children: a sentinel survey in 6 US cities. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 156(7), 678-684.



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neuro_nurse

posted May 28, 2007 at 2:18 am


Foreign-born adults in Los Angeles County, California, constituted 45 percent of the county’s population ages 18-64 but accounted for 33 percent of health spending in 2000. Similarly, the undocumented constituted 12 percent of the nonelderly adult population but accounted for only 6 percent of spending. Extrapolating to the nation, total spending by the undocumented is 6.4 billion dollars , of which only 17 percent (1.1 billion dollars) is paid for by public sources. The foreign-born (especially the undocumented) use disproportionately fewer medical services and contribute less to health care costs in relation to their population share[.]Goldman, D. P., Smith, J. P., Sood, N. (2006). Immigrants and the cost of medical care. Health Affairs, 25(6), 1700-1711. Undocumented immigrants and legal immigrants who have been in the United States less than 5 years are excluded from Medicaid eligibility, with the exception of limited coverage for emergency conditions (Emergency Medicaid). New immigrant population growth has been rapid in recent years, but little is known about use of health services by this group or the conditions for which Emergency Medicaid coverage has been applied. Childbirth and complications of pregnancy account for the majority of Emergency Medicaid spending for undocumented immigrants in North Carolina. Spending for elderly and disabled patients, however, is increasing at a faster rate. Among nonpregnant immigrants, injuries, other acute emergencies, and severe complications of chronic disease are major contributors to Emergency Medicaid use. DuBard, C. A., Massing, M. W. (2007). Trends in emergency Medicaid expenditures for recent and undocumented immigrants. JAMA, 297(10), 1085-1092. Immigrants accounted for $39.5 billion (SE=$4 billion) in health care expenditures. After multivariate adjustment, per capita total health care expenditures of immigrants were 55% lower than those of US-born persons ($1139 vs $2546). Similarly, expenditures for uninsured and publicly insured immigrants were approximately half those of their US-born counterparts. Immigrant children had 74% lower per capita health care expenditures than US-born children. However, ED expenditures were more than 3 times higher for immigrant children than for US-born children. Conclusions: Health care expenditures are substantially lower for immigrants than for US-born persons. Our study refutes the assumption that immigrants represent a disproportionate financial burden on the US health care system. Mohanty, S. A., Woolhandler, S., Himmelstein, D. U., Pati, S., Carrasquillo, O., Bor, D. H. (2005). Health expenditures of immigrants in the United States: a nationally representative analysis. Journal of Public Health, 95(8), 1431-1438.



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jurisnaturalist

posted May 28, 2007 at 2:34 am


I don’t contend with the need for social programs, I just think it is the role of the church, not the state. Believe me, I know all about the need!



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Sarasotakid

posted May 28, 2007 at 1:56 pm


I don’t contend with the need for social programs, I just think it is the role of the church, not the state. Believe me, I know all about the need! jurisnaturalistIf only the church would step up to the plate. From what I have seen of the church, the amount of help that it is able (or maybe inclined) to provide is infinitesimal compared to the need. Churches seem good at providing a really decent living for pastors and the clerical class but it does not in many instances seem to extend beyond that- I realize that there are exceptions to this statement.



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Payshun

posted May 29, 2007 at 4:42 am


I agree w/ Sarasotakid. The church is illequipped to deal w/ the issues plaguing the community. Some do a little but then quite honestly it takes more than that. p



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Wolverine

posted May 29, 2007 at 5:39 pm


Sarasotakid While I wouldn’t go as far as jurisnaturalist would, there are a couple of points that need to be made: 1. The magnitude of the need is aggravated by the inefficiency of government as a distributor of social services. If one could transfer responsibility from government to private charity (easier said than done I’ll admit) the cost for providing the same essential services almost certainly go down. 2. Taxes used to fund social programs ultimately come from the same pool of funds that private charities draw from: the incomes of businesses and individuals in the US. That pool has been shrunk by taxes used to fund government-run social programs If you reduce government-provided services, one can also reduce taxes, leaving us all with more money in our pockets. Some of that would go to charities. To the extent that we might follow jurisnaturalist’s program (and we will have to at some point, the price tag for entitlements is only getting larger — it’s only a question of when and how far) the challenge for the church would be to make sure that our contributions and those that we cajole out of our neighbors are enough that, with the gains in efficiency, the provision of health care would be as good as it is now or better. If we think this through it can probably be done. If we start soon we can do this gradually and smoothly. If we wait there’s liable to be an ugly crash. Wolverine



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neuro_nurse

posted May 29, 2007 at 8:06 pm


jurisnaturalist & Wolverine, By posting the abstracts above I wanted to make the point that not only is there a need for social services, but also there are some apparently widely held beliefs and misconceptions about recipients of state aid as demonstrated by Patti Harrison s statements and just about anything posted by another of our illustrious colleagues on God s Politics who I will leave unnamed. I ve heard from people in Eastern Washington State statements that the Hispanics there (all of them presumably in the country illegally) are using up tax dollars for social services that would otherwise go to more deserving U.S. citizens. It s like listening to a children say, How come he got a bigger piece than me?Perhaps Patti has been talking to emergency department staff. I have very limited experience working in EDs, but coincidentally, I worked in the ED yesterday. Nursing is a high stress job, and most of us vent to each other about the frustrations we experience. The things we say to each other about the clients we serve are frequently less than charitable. Many of the people seen in the ED are drunk, belligerent, and malodorous. (Yesterday I pulled urine-drenched pants off of one man, wrestled another man who was intoxicated to prevent him from potentially making himself a quadriplegic before we could clear his C-spine, and went home with the stench of feces and unwashed groin lingering in my nose. I won t let my wife hug me before I take a shower.) Many people who can t afford health insurance use the ED as a source of primary care, presenting with what seem to us to be petty complaints hardly worth our time. Many nurses tend to generalize our anecdotal experiences into broad truths. I ve done it, and although I got tired of being proven wrong, I m sure I still do it. Evidence-based practice is becoming the standard of medical and nursing care, and with access to online medical data bases, it is becoming inexcusable for nurses and other healthcare professionals to hold believes that are unsupported by objective data. My point is that if these prejudices exist not only among lay-people, but also among healthcare professionals, I think we need to be very careful about the criteria for how funds are distributed. I am afraid that people in need of health care will be denied based on unfounded beliefs of inequity, particularly if we have to cajole out of our neighbors sufficient funds to provide care for those in need. Peace!



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Ken Long

posted July 1, 2008 at 2:41 am


Churches ideally should bring make morality to the society,which they in very don’t but just in minute situations.
— ——————————————-
Ken Long
Addiction Recovery Arizona



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