…So much so in fact that the Republican congressman from South Carolina yelled “lie” when President Obama made the following statement earlier tonight:
“There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false – the reforms I’m proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally,” President Obama said. [Link]
p>Yelling at the President during a joint session of congress is pretty much unheard of. What is this the British Parliament? Even McCain condemned the outburst.
p>There is fiction and there is truth. Here is FactCheck.org’s take:
The bill is designed to exclude those immigrants, though some Republicans have called for more explicit bans on funding for illegal immigrants and have claimed the bill will funnel money to illegal immigrants.
FactCheck.org described those claims as “false” and noted that one version of the legislation already includes an explicit bar on federal funding for illegal immigrants’ health care. [Link]
p>Joe Wilson should be a familiar name to Indian Americans. He is the former co-chair of the House India Caucus. Here is an excerpt from a 2003 interview:
Q. One of the criticisms of the Caucus over the years has been that all members like to proudly declare how large the Caucus is whenever they attend some Indian American function, but when it comes to real tangibles, there are not more than a handful of members who are really committed and involved. Is this something you hope to change during your tenure in terms of resurrecting or to be more charitable, rejuvenating the Caucus?
A. It will be. In fact, on my election I had a number of members of Congress tell me that they wanted to become more involved. Over and over, I have had topnotch and very enthusiastic members of Congress tell me they want to become involved. We will be more active and again a reason that we are going to become more active is not just because of a change in leadership but because the Indian American population of the U.S. has become more active and better organized itself.
Q. Another criticism often leveled at the Caucus is that it tends to be more focused on the India part and not on the Indian American part. That the Caucus puts more emphasis on India in terms of India-related foreign policy issues without getting focused on domestic issues of concern to Indian Americans. Is this something you are going to balance out?
A. I am confident I can. The two parts of what I am trying to do is work within the Indian American population and then work in regard to relations with India. But you need to realize that most caucuses which are of a particular country — and we have them with virtually every major country in the world — most of them, if not all of them really focus on a relationship say between the U.S. and the United Kingdom, between the U.S. And Germany, Korea, Japan with minimum emphasis on the domestic population. [Link]