If you’ve tuned into The Chris Salcedo Show at any point during the last year, you’ve come to know my husband’s immigration story quite well.
I’ll never forget sitting on the floor of our first little apartment, surrounded by piles of United States Immigration and Naturalization Services paperwork as we forged ahead in my husband’s legal process.
At one point, we had to prove to the agency that my husband would not become a dependent of the state. In other words, we had to find someone who would sign an affidavit stating that should my husband lose his job (or find himself in any other financial crisis), that person would take responsibility for ensuring that we had the funds necessary to live.
Because, as the rules stated, my husband could not become a dependent of the state. No food stamps, no Medicaid, no welfare of any kind.
So, we did just that, and found a family member who graciously offered to take up the responsibility. And, as we recall the tough times we faced (and subsequently overcame)—we look on in awe as millions upon millions of illegal immigrants continue to receive copious benefits from the government.
From Section 8 housing to Medicaid, we sit and watch Congress (as Breitbart.com aptly put it) “trip over itself providing benefits to people who came to the U.S. illegally.”
[sharequote align="center"]Wouldn’t it be refreshing if our government concerned itself with the needs of its current citizens?[/sharequote]
Many (as CNN does here) try to claim that per the law, illegal immigrants are not eligible for these types of benefits, and as such the idea that they’re “draining the system” is nothing but Myth No. 3 on their list of misunderstandings about immigration.
Well, the president can’t arbitrarily announce that he’s going to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants either, but guess what? Laws didn’t seem to stop him.
And, as a recent Freedom of Information Act data release revealed, it doesn’t much matter what the laws say—there’s been a shadow immigration system in operation for quite some time under this administration.
In light of this—nothing should surprise me when it comes to this issue. But, somehow, the extent to which our government will bend over backwards to provide for people who broke our laws never ceases to amaze me.
And indeed, they’re at it again.
The latest comes in the form of granting transgender hormone therapy … courtesy of the federal government. And that’s not all. They’re guaranteeing it to illegal immigrants who are currently in detention.
And I quote:
"With respect to treatment while in detention — the medical care standard — the standards guarantees a right to hormone therapy for individuals who need it for treatment, and even in facilities that are not covered by that standard.”
The report continues:
“Transgender detainees who were already receiving hormone therapy when taken into [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] custody shall have continued access.”
Stop and think about that for a moment.
While legal immigrants like my husband must pledge not to take help from the government; while veterans like my brother must fight tooth and nail to obtain the vital medical care they need to avoid dying from their war-related complications … you, the American taxpayer, are footing the bill so that illegal immigrants who were “already receiving hormone therapy when taken into ICE custody shall have continued access.”
Ironically enough, hormone therapy (among other gender reassignment treatments) isn’t even something granted to American military personnel in prison. Case in point—convicted WikiLeaks informant Bradley Manning, who wishes to begin his transition from male to female.
Don’t get me wrong. By no means do I intend to suggest that hormone therapy is a right, nor that it should be provided to Bradley (now calling himself “Chelsea”) Manning.
My point is simply to illuminate the incredibly stark contrast between the standards set for American citizens and illegal immigrants.
In addition, I’m intrigued by the idea that illegal immigrants in detention had been receiving hormone therapy in the first place; that is, prior to their capture and detention as the report insinuates.
Hear me out. The idea, after all, behind illegal immigration is the one faced no other alternative than to attempt the incredibly dangerous trek across treacherous territory to seek out a better life.
With this in mind, I’m interested to discover how it is that these illegal immigrants found the funds to pay for gender reassignment hormone treatment while in either country.
Take for example, the average salary in El Salvador—where blue collar minimum wage earners make less in a day than minimum wage earners in the United States make in a single hour. Or consider the average monthly earnings of a tile worker in Mexico, which sit roughly around $100 pesos a day, or about $7.00 U.S.
Given that we know the financial conditions in which the majority of illegal immigrants arrive, I simply find it curious that this was even a financial possibility for these individuals in the first place.
The probability of this aside, however, the crux of the issue remains the same: while millions of Americans are struggling to pay for basic healthcare (and who are now facing a penalty when they can’t afford their insurance), our government is making certain that those who break our laws receive a non-vital benefit.
Yes, I said non-vital. The debate as to the validity of choosing one’s gender aside for a moment, it is not a life threatening condition. Period.
Need I remind the country what happens to Americans accused of breaking the laws of another nation? Marines Andrew Tahmooressi and Jon Hammar certainly might have a thing or two to recount from their imprisonment in Mexico, as would American pastor Saeed Abedini—currently languishing in Iran’s most notorious prison.
To be sure, I’m absolutely not advocating abusive treatment. Quite the contrary, our respect for human life must remain steadfast, and I applaud the efforts of people like Glenn Beck, who sought to address the humanitarian crisis amongst children in detention facilities this past summer. (Efforts, I might add, that were entirely private sector.)
Hormone therapy, however, is not an issue of one’s basic right to life.
I’ll leave you with this thought: wouldn’t it be a refreshing twist if our government, for once, concerned itself with the true needs of its own citizens … above all?
Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com (a political commentary blog), and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show (TheBlaze Radio Network, Saturday, from noon to 3pm ET). She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree.
TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.