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De Blasio Announces Free Health Care for Illegal Aliens

NYC mayor touted initiative for sanctuary city during gov't shutdown over border wall funding, immigration enforcement

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced Tuesday that the city would roll out an unprecedented initiative offering free health care to all residents — including illegal immigrants.

New York City is a sanctuary city that defies U.S. immigration enforcement laws, protects illegal immigrants from deportation, and limits local cooperation with federal enforcement officers.

And now de Blasio plans to further embrace illegal immigrants by providing them with free health care on the taxpayers’ dime.

“Health care is a right, not a privilege reserved for those who can afford it,” de Blasio said in a statement on Tuesday.

“While the federal government works to gut health care for millions of Americans, New York City is leading the way by guaranteeing that every New Yorker has access to quality, comprehensive access to care, regardless of immigration status or their ability to pay,” de Blasio added.

The program, NYC Care, will launch this summer in the Bronx.

By 2021, all New Yorkers in the city’s five boroughs will have access to free health care. The plan will cost “at least $100 million annually at full scale,” the press release noted.

“Health care isn’t just a right in theory, it must be a right in practice. Today I’m announcing a plan to guarantee health care for all New Yorkers. Through our own public option and a new program called NYC Care, we’ll ensure the first stop for people isn’t the emergency room,” de Blasio tweeted on Tuesday.

De Blasio first touted NYC Care during an interview Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

He also said that no new taxes would be issued to pay for the plan, noting that “we’re going to pay for” this “through our public health care system because we’re making it a priority.”

“This has never been done before in this country, in this kind of comprehensive way. It’s going to be for the first time a guarantee of health care. We’re going to guarantee health care for New Yorkers who need it,” de Blasio said.

“We also have a way to provide direct health care to a lot of neighbors who happen to be undocumented — they’re still part of our community, they need health care, their families need health care,” de Blasio added.

President Donald Trump campaigned heavily as a candidate for the White House on his now-iconic pledge to build a security wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to combat illegal immigration.

He’s also repeatedly spoken out against the dangers sanctuary cities pose to U.S. citizens when illegal immigrant criminals are protected.

Related: Why Sanctuary Cities Are a Growing Threat to America’s Foundations

Although Republicans held majorities in both the House and the Senate for the first two years of Trump’s presidency, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on funding the border wall — and punted on the issue.

Now that Democrats have retaken the House majority, the $5 billion in border wall funding that Trump is demanding becomes more difficult to attain.

Although Trump and GOP lawmakers showed a willingness to lower the $5 billion request in a compromise, newly minted Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) still are refusing to budge on providing a cent of border wall funding.

Trump announced on Monday on Twitter that he will “address the nation on the humanitarian and national security crisis on our southern border” on Tuesday evening in the Oval Office — his first such address from that venue as president. There is intense interest in this speech for many reasons.

The president will also visit “the southern border on Thursday to meet with those on the front lines of the national security and humanitarian crisis,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders revealed on Monday.

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