I can’t understand people who seem willing to hold up health care for millions of uninsured Americans for the fear that some undocumented people might slip through the cracks in the system and get seen by a doctor. Joe Wilson claims he was being ‘spontaneous’ when he shouted at the President, but in the cold light of day he’s a hero to people who blame every social problem on ‘illegals’.
So when the Congressman does a fairly routine motion of granting a reprieve to a man who ignored a deportation order, he must be using some criteria for making an exception. The case is surely deserving and the intervention is not especially unusual, but why this undocumented immigrant and not someone else? No one’s talking.
Wilson may have a conflict of interest [on immigration], however. Two months before he heckled Obama, he introduced legislation to keep Sainey Fatty, an illegal immigrant from Gambia, in the country. Fatty came to the U.S. for school in the early ’90s and lived here for seven years while under a deportation order, according to his friend Bill Cook’s blog.
In his bill, Wilson asks Congress to forgive Fatty’s immigration woes, drop the deportation order against Fatty and allow him to remain in the country legally.
Wilson’s communications director Ryan Murphy told Raw Story in an e-mail that “Congressman Wilson does not support illegal immigrants getting access to a government taxpayer funded health insurance program.” He did not respond to questions about what motivated Wilson to keep Fatty in the country or whether Wilson supports Fatty’s ability to receive medical care in the U.S.
Is it just harder to be hard-line when it’s an actual person and not some abstract ‘illegal’? I’d be surprised if Sainey Fatty did not have a compelling personal story and dire need to stay in the US. So Congressman Wilson should just explain why he made an exception, and what he considers good reasons to grant amnesty to certain people. It would humanize this whole discussion and help him shed the extremists who are making ‘illegal’ this decade’s racist target.