Free Health Care for Illegal Aliens?

Andrew Napolitano recently wrote an article titled Was Joe Wilson Right? This article contained some surprising data.  I was personally shocked to discover that I was ignorant of some very important facts which Judge Napolitano brought to my attention through the article:

The Constitution requires that the government treat all persons similarly situated in a similar manner. This is the essence of “Equal Protection,” which the Constitution requires of the states and the federal government.

In the late 1970s, the State of Texas enacted legislation that denied a public school education to the children of illegal immigrants and denied state aid to municipalities that attempted to educate those children. Many illegal immigrants filed suit and all of the cases made their way to the Supreme Court. In a landmark ruling, that most lawyers know about, and that every professor of constitutional law knows about, called Plyler vs. Doe (1982), the Court ordered Texas to make the same education available to illegal immigrants as it does to citizens. In so doing, the Court held that: (a) the Constitution protects “persons” ; and (b) “persons” are citizens as well as strangers, people born here and people who end up here, people here lawfully and people here unlawfully; and (c) in the area of social services, whatever benefits the government makes available to the general public cannot be kept away from a class of persons based on their immigration status or that of their parents.

It is because of this ruling that Proposition 187 in California, which attempted to do via a referendum what Texas attempted to do via legislation, was invalidated. It is clear from the broad language in the Plyler case that providing an education is in the same class of social benefits as providing health care.

In other words, the U.S. government cannot give “free” health care to citizens without also giving the same free health care to illegal aliens, without violating the Constitution.

I am a huge supporter of immigration and of the rights of immigrants, but those rights do not include the right to sponge off of the hard work of others.  In the same way, the welfare louts who continue to vote these Democratic politicians also have no moral right to sponge off of the hard work of others.  The two situations are morally identical, and now Judge Napolitano has shown where the two are also legally identical.

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