Citizenship is more than a ‘demographic characteristic’

The state of Illinois is now providing health insurance to non-citizens. There is a huge cost in this.

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Immigration advocates demanding a pathway to citizenship rally at the Federal Plaza in Chicago on Aug. 18, 2021.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

The state of Illinois is now providing health insurance to non-citizens, what some people would call “illegal aliens.” In passing the law, Illinois House Majority Leader Greg Harris said: “We’re taking care of them the same way we’re taking care of all of our seniors, we don’t want to exclude a group just because of one demographic characteristic.”

“Demographic characteristic?” What a euphemism. There is a huge cost for providing these benefits to non-citizens, which the rest of us pay. If Harris is suggesting that we should have open borders and freely welcome the world into our country, then he should say so.

Otherwise, yes, we treat citizens different from non-citizens.

Shawn Jenkins, Flossmoor

State of Denial

It appears that anti-vaxxers would like to add a 51st state to the Union, the State of Denial. They deny there is any worth in COVID-19 vaccines, masks and social distancing.

They also seem to want to deny those of us who support these protections from the virus from enjoying our rights to move about freely, with less fear of being infected. Too many people think they can use the argument that they’re just “exercising their rights” to violate my rights.

The debate over masks in schools is a serious one. Though COVID-19 seems to be less dangerous for children, can we guarantee that no child will be infected if we don’t follow the proper safety protocols? And as the virus continues to mutate, can we guarantee that there will be no long-term effects on children even if they are asymptomatic now?

How many children must we put at risk?

Vaccines are never 100% preventative, but they reduce risks. We vaccinate against smallpox, measles, chickenpox, tuberculosis and polio. And the vaccines work for society as a whole because the vaccinate rate approaches 100%.

It’s time for all Americans to accept that this pandemic is not just about them. What others choose to do may very well affect me.

Dan Pupo, Orland Park

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