March 1, 2002

Bush and House Republicans Fail the Hispanic Community

House Democrats blast Republican immigrant-related provisions of Welfare plan

Washington - Today (2/28/02), House Democrats announced their opposition to immigration-related provisions of President Bush's welfare reform proposal. Bush unveiled his welfare reform proposal this week and the Bush Administration announced that it opposes allowing legal immigrants who have been in this country for years to obtain welfare benefits and assistance. Bush is maintaining the ban on benefits for legal immigrants despite the fact that many low-income families who are playing by the rules will be worse off under this proposal.

On this critical issue of welfare reform, President Bush's actions sent a strong signal to the Hispanic community that it is not a priority for him and the Republican Party. Welfare reform is another attempt to mask cuts in key programs that will adversely affect Hispanics.

"This is yet another broken promise Bush and the Republican Party made to the Hispanic community. This is sounding like Pete Wilson's Republican Party that pushed through Proposition 187, stripping immigrants of their basic human rights," said Congressman Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus. "The Welfare proposal is nothing more than a cruel slap in the face to all Hispanics."

The Republican Party has decided yet again that hardworking legal immigrants are not worthy of medical care or other safety-net services. The exclusion from the Administration's proposal of prenatal care, health care for children, and other critical services for legal immigrants is outrageous.

What Hispanic Leaders Say about Bush's Proposal:

"Whatever good will the administration may have built up… has been undercut by this slap in the face. ... We are hopping mad," said Cecilia Mun oz of the National Council of La Raza. [Washington Post, 2/27/02]

"The immigration-related provisions of [the] Bush proposal ... demonstrates profound disrespect for the realities faced by hard-working low-income Latinos who are either not being well served by the system, or not served at all. ... NCLR is particularly angered that the Administration ... appears to have decided that hardworking legal immigrants are not worthy of medical care or other safety-net." Statement by NCLR President Raul Yzaguirre (2/26/02).

Return to the Frontpage