WASHINGTON (AP) - A House Democrat is accusing President Barack
Obama of dehumanizing illegal immigrants with his hard-line stance
against allowing them to benefit from pending health overhaul legislation.
Congressman Luis Gutierrez, from Obama's home state of Illinois, said Wednesday the approach is "nonsense" and would ultimately cost taxpayers more money when illegal immigrants end up in emergency rooms.
Language on illegal immigrants is still being finalized as the House prepares to vote as early as Saturday.
The White House wants to bar illegal immigrants from buying health plans in a new purchasing exchange, even if they use their own money. Gutierrez and other members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus say that goes too far.
Gutierrez said that Obama "calls them illegal and criminalizes and dehumanizes them."