January 22, 2018
PIVOT, the nation’s first progressive Vietnamese organization, expressed deep concern that Congress today passed a temporary funding bill that does not include the following: a permanent solution to regularize the status of certain immigrant youth (sometimes called DREAMers) and critical funding for community health centers (Federally Qualified Health Centers rely on this appropriated funding to serve low- income and vulnerable populations).
PIVOT believes that we cannot continue to expend taxpayer dollars to deport immigrant youth who are contributing to our country. Instead, we need to use taxpayer dollars to fund critical healthcare for underserved communities and families. In future negotiations, Democrats should stand their ground and hold out for these provisions. We hope they continue to stand strong for our nation’s immigrants and refugees, including many Vietnamese who have given so much to our country’s growth and culture; the discussions in the coming weeks about how we spend taxpayer dollars are core to our country’s fundamental values.
“Our policy platform clearly articulates our membership’s priorities – to bring undocumented immigrant youth, many of whom are Vietnamese, out of the shadows and fully into our society,” said PIVOT Policy Chair Dr. Thu Quach. “Our priorities also include ensuring that all individuals have access to quality and affordable healthcare, regardless of age, ethnicity, language, race, or income. Community Health Center funding is the lifeblood of our health system for delivering care to disadvantaged families, including many, many Vietnamese families.”
“This temporary funding bill is worrisome because now hundreds of immigrant youths are at risk for deportation every week since Trump ended the DACA program which protected them,” declared PIVOT Board Chair Dr. Tung Nguyen. “We need to permanently solve this issue now and to preserve critical healthcare center funding for hundreds of thousands of children and families.”
“We call on the White House and Congressional Republicans and Democrats to work together to craft a sustainable agreement that includes a clean DREAM act and funding for community health centers. We hope that Senate Leader Mitch McConnell will keep his word to proceed in these negotiations in good faith,” Dr. Nguyen added.