Outside a noon pro-immigration prayer vigil on Capitol Hill, Colorado’s Second District Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Polis said that South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson’s outburst has worked to bolster support for Democratic efforts to effect health reform.
“I think when the American people saw that outburst, they saw it for what it was,” Polis told the Washington Independent. “It’s created a backlash against the anti-immigrant position, and I think it’s helped the health-care bill move forward. It’s provided momentum for comprehensive immigration reform.”
Wilson shouted “You lie!” in response to the President’s assertion during his address to Congress on health reform last week that illegal aliens would not be eligible for increased benefits under any Democratic plan.
At the prayer vigil, Polis called immigration-restriction group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) “obscure and extreme. FAIR is on the Hill this week lobbying members of Congress in what the group calls its “Hold Their Feet to the Fire Lobby Days,” which began Monday and will run through Wednesday. The group has sought to tie the health-reform debate to immigration, advancing the impression that reform will translate to greater numbers of illegal immigrants receiving health care and doing so on the tax payers’ dime, an assertion not supported by research conducted by respected fact check organizations.
The University of Pennsylvania Annenberg Public Policy Center’s Factcheck.org has flatly noted that House bill H.R. 3200 would not provide federal monies to illegal aliens.