The Invisible Power and the Deprived Right

Illegal immigration had been a highly-debated issue and still can’t be solved for decades. During the years, immigration in America arose a wide range of issues like citizenship, safety, and discrimination, etc. Now, it ignited a problem of the very basic human right—the right to eat; more important, it is of the children’s.

From the governor’s point of view, their change in the policy seems quite fair. They represented the equality kernel of the new policy using simple statistics: $1600 dollar of income should have the same right as $1600 dollar of income (immigrant family vs. all-citizen family). This argument easily cut the food benefit from many immigrant families. They reasoned in such a transparent and reasonable way, but from my view, it is totally a fallacy.

Does $1600 always equal to $1600? In terms of immigrant family, it is not. Most of the illegal immigrants are living under certain degree of oppression. Discrimination to these population places an invisible but powerful influence on their family. Most immigrant adults are working in the cheapest jobs. To earn sixteen hundreds a month, they have to spend more time, pay more effort, and endure more danger compared to native citizens [1]. In such working status, immigrant families have to struggle in a more sticky situation, deal with issues such as childcare, accidental injury, and probably have to spend more money, which means money spend on food diminishes. Also, their time spent on purchasing, preparing, and cooking food is limited. Cooking health but not expensive food requires more spare time. Limited time in food shopping and cooking highly influences the food quality [2]. Also, most parents are low educated, they are lack of the knowledge to eat healthily. So, these families tend to eat more fast food and preserved food, which are low in nutrition quality and harmful to children’s health.

Children are not born for handling such complicated citizenship issue. They are innocent. Unfortunately, they are also most vulnerable to malnutrition, which means lack of food will causes inevitable adverse effects on their health. Many chronic diseases in adulthood such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes have their origins in childhood [3]. Children’s health status is not a single issue; it relates closely to the future of all the populations. Let alone the complex politics, children have the right to eat no matter where they are from and who they are. Children stand for the future and they are not asking for more—they just need food.

A responsible government should not be obsessed in calculating the income of different families; on the other hand, focusing on the people, especially people who need help, is in great need. The Kansas slashing will echo for a long time, because it does not only stands for itself, but also reflects how the government did and should do.

Reference:

  1. Capps, Randy, Michael Fix, Jeffrey S. Passel, Jason Ost, and Dan Perez-Lopez. “A PROFILE OF THE LOW-WAGE IMMIGRANTWORKFORCE.” URBAN INSTITUTE Immigration Studies Program 4 Nov. (2003): 1-8. Web. 27 Jan. 2012. <http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/310880_lowwage_immig_wkfc.pdf&gt;.
  2. Dubowitz, Tamara, Dolores Acevedo-Garcia, Judy Salkeld, Ana C. Lindsay, and SV Subramanian. “Lifecourse, immigrant status and acculturation in food purchasing and preparation among low-income mothers.” Public Health Nutrition 10.4 (2007): 396-404. Web. 27 Jan. 2012.
  3. Forrest, Christopher B., and Anne W. Riley. “Childhood Origins Of Adult Health: A Basis For Life-Course Health Policy.” Health Affairs 23.5 (2004): 155-64. Web. 27 Jan. 2012.
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