Things That Matter

President Trump Is Fighting With Governor Gavin Newsom Over Undocumented Immigrants Getting Healthcare

Gage Skidmore / Thomas Hawk / Flickr

There have been some heated words between California Governor Gavin Newsom and President Donald Trump over funding health care for undocumented immigrants. By signing a $214.8 billion operating budget last week, California’s governor will guarantee that low-income adults 25 and younger living in the country illegally will be eligible for the state’s Medicaid program. President Trump criticized Newsom for the move as the issue has become a key talking point going into the 2020 presidential election.

California will become the first state to expand health coverage for those living in the country illegally.

In his first state budget as governor, Newsom will be extending public health insurance to undocumented low-income immigrants up to the age of 26. There was some push to put a bill forward that would cover seniors as well but Newsom was hesitant about that because of costs. The governor has previously said he wants to eventually cover all undocumented immigrants in the state. These new measures come with an expected cost of $98 million to cover about 90,000 people.

The call for public health coverage for undocumented immigrants in the state is the opposite stance for the Trump administration and Republican leaders. Many see the volatile issue will become a hot topic issue during the 2020 presidential election.

“To my friends at Fox News, I know we’re keeping you in business and getting your advertising rates and clicks going, but we believe in universal healthcare — universal healthcare is a right,” Newsom said at a press conference in Sacramento on Monday.

Newsom’s approach to healthcare in California has angered some Republicans particularly, President Trump.

Within hours, Trump went on the attack. “The Democrats want to treat the illegals with health care and other things better than they treat the citizens of our country,” he told reporters in response to a question about his administration’s push to ask about citizenship on the census.

“You look at what they’re doing in California, how they’re treating people — they don’t treat their people as well as they treat illegal immigrants,” he continued, adding that “we’re going to stop it, but we may need an election to stop it.”

The topic of health insurance for undocumented people in the U.S. has become a hot button issue after the Democratic debates.

Credit: @SawyerHackett / Twitter

Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro spoke this weekend again about the importance of offering undocumented people health insurance.

“What I’d like to Americans to know, right now, No. 1, undocumented immigrants already pay a lot of taxes,” Castro told George Stephanopoulos, host of ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” “Secondly, we already pay for the health care of undocumented immigrants. It’s called the emergency room. And then third, it’s the right thing to do. We’re not going to let people living in this country die because they can’t see a doctor. That’s not who we are as Americans.”

READ: In Next Cruel Move Against Migrants, Trump Administration Threatens Half Million Dollar Fines Against Undocumented Migrants

A Father And Daughter Were Separated By U.S. Immigration Only To Reunite On Her Deathbed

Things That Matter

A Father And Daughter Were Separated By U.S. Immigration Only To Reunite On Her Deathbed

Adhy Savala / Unsplash

It is with unrelenting sadness that we report the death of Heydi Gámez García, 13, who took her life after her father’s asylum request was denied for the third time. Heydi’s father, Manuel Gámez, sent her to the U.S. after his father was gunned down by MS-13 for refusing to pay a “war tax” to the gang. He didn’t expect that Heydi would be granted asylum, but that he would be deported.

Manuel certainly didn’t envision that his goodbye hug and kiss four years ago would be the last time he would hug and kiss his daughter while she was still alive.

The Gámaz family was broken by MS-13 and failed again by the U.S. immigration system.

Credit: @amy_baker22 / Twitter

Heydi’s mother walked out on her and her dad when she was less than two months old. By the time Heydi was a year old, Manuel left for New York as an undocumented immigrant to make money to send back home. After his father was killed by MS-13, and his mother’s health started failing, he worried about who would care for Heydi and his younger sister, Zoila.

Manuel’s sister was granted asylum and cared for Heydi in his absence in New York.

Credit: @holliewolfen / Twitter

A year after his father’s death, he sent Heydi, Zoila and his brother to the U.S. Heydi and Zoila were granted asylum. Heydi learned English within a year and started teaching her father, via phone calls, how to correctly pronounce English words. They spoke every day, always asking when he’d come.

After two failed attempts to gain asylum, Heydi lost hope for being reunited and started cutting herself.

Credit: @holliewolfen / Twitter

He never wanted to make promises he couldn’t keep, like being there for her quinceañera. Heydi watched her classmates complain about their parents’ visiting their school and fell into a depression. In December, she was brought to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation after cutting her wrist at school. She was seeing a therapist until two months before her suicide.

“Please forgive me for failing you,” Manuel wants to tell his daughter.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t be there… I never meant to leave you,” he says to her. Heydi was Manuel’s only child. Heydi’s aunt is coping with impossible guilt. She told CNN, “I was supposed to be protecting her. I would never send her to Honduras. But I never thought something bad would happen to her here.”

Manuel was released on a two week ‘humanitarian’ visit to release Heydi from life support.

Credit: @holliewolfen / Twitter

He finally got to hold her hand and comfort her as she left this life behind. “We love you,” he whispered to her. “Don’t leave us.”

The last thing Heydi told anyone was that she lost hope in being reunited with her father.

Credit: @MaryJaneKnows / Twitter

She was crying as she told her aunt that she feels hopeless and that one day, she’ll become a lawyer to help her dad’s case. She then said she wanted to be alone and was found two hours later in a closet. She didn’t leave a note.

She was declared brain dead a week later at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in Queens.

Dr. Charles Schleien told CNN that she was in a “neurologically devastated state” upon arrival with “no hope for recovery.” He went on to disclose that the Gámaz family “chose to turn tragedy into the gift of life. Heydi is an organ donor and her final act will be to save others.”

The mental health impacts of family separation at our borders can only be told one story at a time.

Credit: @apbenven / Twitter

It is the only empathic way to relate to the emotional scars of our community. Every story is important. Every life lost to policies that don’t incorporate the most visceral human desires, like growing up with your father by your side, is one life too many. 

What on earth are we doing?

Credit: @JoeGould50 / Twitter

How can anyone go about business as usual? How do we humanize brown-skinned people to every voter and decision-maker? The only way we know how is to continually voice your concerns to your representatives and create space for these stories. Don’t look away. The grief of the Gámaz family is all of our grief. 

A Manuel, you did not fail your daughter. We all did. We are so sorry.

Trump Would Do Well In Remembering That His Grandfather Begged To Be Spared A Family Separating Deportation

Culture

Trump Would Do Well In Remembering That His Grandfather Begged To Be Spared A Family Separating Deportation

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Familia, what you are about to read is rich. Harper’s Magazine has recently uncovered and translated a German letter written by Friedrich Trump, President Trump’s grandfather. At the time of its writing, in 1905, Friedrich Trump was living in Bavaria as an “illegal alien” in what was then Bavaria, and had just received a letter of deportation. Trump responded by penning a letter begging for repatriation to Prince Luitpold. Prince Luitpold rejected Trump’s deeply reverent yet desperate request on behalf of his family’s mental health. The family later resettled in New York.

“Most Serene, Most Powerful Prince Regent! Most Gracious Regent and Lord!,” it begins.

Credit: @PeterFotopoulos / Twitter

Trump begins by explaining how his “parents were honest, plain, pious vineyard workers.” They strictly held [him] to everything good.” He then goes on to explain that he “apprenticed to become a barber,” emigrated to America and with “God’s blessing” he “became rich.” He moved back to Kallstadt, his birthplace in Bavaria, because his wife “could not tolerate the climate in New York.” He brought his “dear family” back to Kallstadt.

He pleads on the count of not separating his family.

Credit: @glennf / Twitter

“The town was glad to have received a capable and productive citizen. My old mother was happy to see her son, her dear daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter around her; she knows now that I will take care of her in her old age. But we were confronted all at once, as if by a lightning strike from fair skies, with the news that the High Royal State Ministry had decided that we must leave our residence in the Kingdom of Bavaria.”

“We were paralyzed with fright; our happy family life was tarnished.”

Credit: @fofochavez / Twitter

“My wife has been overcome by anxiety, and my lovely child has become sick. Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a decree — not to mention the great material losses it would incur. I would like to become a Bavarian citizen again.”

People are shooketh that POTUS hasn’t derived any empathy from his own abuelo’s experience as a deported illegal immigrant.

Credit: @MauiGigner / Twitter

Two generations later, Friedrich Trump’s grandson is the President of the United States and enacting new policies that specifically separates families at the border as a “deterrent” to immigration. When Friedrich’s reasons for immigrating was New York’s harsh climate and wanting to be close to his aging mother, we’d expect his grandson to have compassion for families who are fleeing gang violence, LGBT discrimination, and threats of death to protect their families.

That said, Bavaria rejected Trump, Sr. for dodging the military draft.

Credit: @mssenator / Twitter

Friedrich had fled Bavaria (now-Germany) when he was young as a method to escape the military draft. He obviously failed to report his emigration 20 years prior to receiving the letter because it was shady AF. Germany denied his request to stay in the country since he failed to notify the government of his emigration and for dodging the draft.

Given his recent hate speech to “send back” the four Congresswoman of color, this news has folks reeling in Trump’s own hypocrisy.

Credit: @MarioAVazquez7 / Twitter

Twitter user, Mario Vazquez, tweeted his thoughts, “HYPOCRISY: Melania, from Slovenia, illegally worked under a tourist visa in the 90s and then brought her parents over through “chain migration.” Trump’s mom immigrated from Scotland and his grandfather came from Germany. Should they all “go back” then?”

Fourth-generation Americans are chiming in acknowledging their privilege and degrading Trump’s hypocrisy.

Credit: @nosnibornasus / Twitter

What makes America great is that it did welcome Trump’s family at a time when immigration laws were tightening in the U.S. The President at the time had to veto a law passed in Congress that would require immigrants a literacy test by reading five lines of the Constitution. That POTUS rejected the requirement as un-American.

Friedrich Trump became a U.S. citizen after immigrating as an unaccompanied minor who didn’t speak English.

Credit: @AshaRangappa_ / Twitter

He certainly wouldn’t have passed Trump’s citizenship screening test that prioritizes those with Ph.D.’s and wealth. 

It seems as if our own abuelos are trying Twitter for the first time to “burn” Trump.

Credit: @RoberL01302168 / Twitter

We see you, Mr. Lopez. Solid burn.

We’ll leave you with one final reaction to the surfacing of Friedrich Trump’s letter.

Credit: @nharmertaylor / Twitter

You’re not aging very well, Mr. President. Might we suggest honoring the stories of your own ancestors? This country is built on family. Trump’s own family is built on “chain migration.” Without family, you’re just an old, unhinged, racist white-bordering-orange dude.

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