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It's immigrants in the country without documents who subsidize citizens, not the other way around

It's immigrants in the country without documents who subsidize citizens, not the other way around
People wait in a hospital emergency room in Las Vegas in 2013. (Christina House / For The Times)

To the editor: The Times Editorial Board says now is not the time for California legislators to ask taxpayers to foot the bill to provide healthcare for low-income adults who are not documented.

The editorial fails to recognize how these immigrants have been footing the bill for taxpayers.

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When we allow for an underground economy that pays immigrants less than what citizens would accept, where employers routinely fail to provide healthcare, disability insurance, or any form of retirement, and we then, in fact, collect taxes from these workers while excluding them from almost all public programs, who is footing the bill for whom?

Providing basic healthcare by expanding Medi-Cal to low-income adults who are in the country without documents would be but a small reparation for decades of worker exploitation that allows many Californians to pay for cheap goods and services without accounting for their true cost.

Jen Flory, El Dorado, Calif.

The writer is a healthcare policy advocate at the Western Center on Law and Poverty.

Follow the Opinion section on Twitter @latimesopinion and Facebook

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