A key issue that has come up during the Democratic primary season is whether those who enter the United States illegally should be eligible for free healthcare, and Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez is fully endorsing it.
During Thursday’s Democratic debate, when asked who would support this, all ten of the participating candidates raised their hand. Perez joined them, defending the policy by claiming that illegal immigrants would be paying for their health benefits with tax dollars.
“This is not a handout,” Perez told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday.
“Immigrants, including undocumented immigrants, pay billions of dollars in taxes,” he claimed. “Democrats believe that you should be able to buy into a health insurance system … this is allowing people to buy into an insurance program, people who pay billions of dollars in taxes."
Earlier in the conversation, Wallace grilled Perez on former vice president Joe Biden’s performance during Thursday’s debate, where California Senator Kamala Harris put him on the defensive when it comes to his record on school integration. Biden had opposed federally mandated busing as a way to integrate schools, while Harris said she herself benefited from busing.
When asked how Biden’s chances in the primary race will be affected by this, Perez simply said, “That’ll be up for the voters to decide.”