Grassroots Coalitions and State Policy Change: Organizing for Immigrant Health Care

Grassroots Coalitions and State Policy Change: Organizing for Immigrant Health Care

Grassroots Coalitions and State Policy Change: Organizing for Immigrant Health Care

Grassroots Coalitions and State Policy Change: Organizing for Immigrant Health Care

Excerpt

As I put the finishing touches on the pages of this book, immigrant rights leaders were preparing for what would be an historic rally for comprehensive immigration reform in Washington D.C. Morning news reports in the days leading up to March 21, 2010 carried voices of politicians, activists, opponents, and immigrants describing the threats of a broken immigration system and the need for its reform. Ten days before the march, President Obama met face-to-face with leaders from faith communities, labor unions, and grassroots organizations, including Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum and Chair of the Reform Immigration for America Campaign.

At the same time, the 111 Congress was narrowing in on final decisions regarding the contentious health care legislation that would be signed into law on March 23, 2010. Just hours before the passage of HR 3590 (the precursor to the landmark Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act), tens of thousands of immigrants and their allies convened at the National Mall. Participants demanded comprehensive reform by the end of the year, especially for the nation’s estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants. Through a video broadcast, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to the cause. Long-time supporters, including Roman Catholic Cardinal, Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, Representative Luis Gutierrez (DIL), and Reverend Jesse Jackson, rallied the crowds to shouts of “Si Se Puede.” As The Washington Post would report the following day, the mood that afternoon was one of hope and defiance.

What led to this moment in the history of immigration and health care reform? A common dynamic in these . . .

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