Code Language that Separates - Code words such as 'alien,' 'illegal,' and others are used to dehumanize the other. In the current political lexicon, an 'alien' is seen as the other -- is not entitled to receive any public assistance outside of emergency relief. Increasingly, we see the efforts to deny access to housing, social services, health care and other components of the nation's social safety net. Indeed, some wish to change the Constitution's 14th Amendment (citizenship to those born on US soil). Stripping a person of their basic human dignity and of their respect is at the core of language that feeds on stereotypes, misguided policies and ignorance.
Did You Know?
“..the Social Security Administration reports that it holds $420 billion from the earning of immigrants who are not in a position to claim benefits.” (Fact sheet from National Council of La Raza in 2006)
“The 1996 welfare bill eliminated food stamp eligibility for most legal immigrant noncitizens (other than refugees). … According to USDA more than 4 million Latinos who are eligible for food stamps are missing out on benefits. Only half of Latinos who are eligible for food stamps participate in the program, and among eligible non-citizens the share that participate is even smaller (42 percent).” (Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 2007)
“… illegal immigrants are in the same situation as millions of Americans who have no health insurance, although undocumented people tend to be more reluctant to use public health services than uninsured Americans.” (Julia Preston, May 2007, NY Times)
AFSC - Newark, NJ Immigrant Rights Program - 973-643-1924 http://www.afsc.org/nymetro/ht/d/sp/i/68515/pid/68515
Budget and Policy Priority - http://www.cbpp.org/
Urban Institute - http://www.urbaninstitute.org/
National Immigration Law Center - http://www.nilc.org/
Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, - http://energyofanation.org/