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Public Statements

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act Of 2007

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. DeMINT. Mr. President, I appreciate the opportunity to speak on this amendment. I think all of us would agree that we would like to design an immigration program that benefited America, that actually brightened the future for Americans, for our children, and that we do not want an immigration system that is going to invite people from all over the world who will come here and be a burden to the American taxpayers.

Unfortunately, the way this bill is written, the Z visas we offer all the illegal immigrants in this country do not require that these illegals have health insurance before they are given these legal passes. That means they will continue to be a heavy burden on the American health care system.

Senator Kennedy has said the $500 one-time fee they have to pay is enough to cover these costs. I know every American wishes they could pay $500 and have free health insurance for life but, unfortunately, it is more expensive than that. Also, Senator Kennedy has said these types of minimum policies cost well over $2,000 a year, which is, frankly, not true. Many of us have policies that cost less than $1,000 a year for a high-deductible policy, which is the minimum level we ask for.

The least we can ask of these immigrants we are granting permanent legal status in this country is not to be a burden on Americans for their health care. To have a minimum level of health insurance is the least we can ask. This amendment would require Z visa holders to have that minimum level, and I ask all of my colleagues to support it.


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