Hero or Zero?
Welcome to Progress Virginia’s Hero or Zero, a weekly, unapologetically progressive take on this week’s heroes and zeros in Virginia politics. Check out this space every Friday, and Tweet us or post to our Facebook to nominate your own heroes and zeros.
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HERO: Virginians in the Coverage Gap
It’s been 8 years since the Affordable Care Act helped millions of people access healthcare across the country. Virginia (and 17 other states) still hasn’t expanded Medicaid under the ACA, leaving 400,000 individuals without access to affordable healthcare.
These people are our neighbors, coworkers, and friends and they’ve been left behind by conservatives in the General Assembly. But they haven’t given up the fight for healthcare! People like Thomasine Wilson have been calling, knocking on doors, and talking to voters and elected officials about why Medicaid expansion is essential to their family. Hear from more advocates who are in the coverage gap.
On Wednesday, this could all change. The General Assembly is voting on the budget, and conservative state Senators are still holding out on Medicaid expansion. Tell your state Senator right now to support Medicaid expansion, and help our friends and neighbors access affordable healthcare.
ZERO: Anti-Immigrant Officials Both in the Administration and Out
It was quite a week for anti-immigrant politicians and activists. Let’s see who got up to what this week:
First, we saw a teenager, Henry, face deportation to El Salvador. This, after he told police all about his former gang, MS-13. Henry will face certain death upon his deportation. “The same unit that Henry had helped to arrest members of MS-13 was now pursuing a deportation case against him, using the information he had provided as evidence.”
Then, we got a letter from Alejandra Pablos, the activist who is being held by ICE in Arizona. While we are uplifted by Ale’s spirit, she is still being help without bond in a detention facility in Eloy.
Next, the Justice Department led by one of our least-favorite racists announced quotas for immigration courts. Quotas could lead judges to rush cases through court to protect their own jobs, instead of handling cases with the appropriate deliberation—these are real people with real life consequences after all.
All this come the week after the Trump Administration decided to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. (Thank you Attorney General Mark Herring for filing a lawsuit against the administration over this bullshit decision).