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Bill Would Force Hospitals To Confirm Citizenship Prior To Care

Bill Would Force Hospitals To Confirm Citizenship Prior To Care

Not satisfied with laws requiring immigration status checks by local law enforcement and employers, Arizona looks to take its anti-immigrant measures one step further by mandating immigration status checks by hospitals prior to giving care to patients.

Under SB 1405, hospital staff who discovered an undocumented person “must contact the local federal immigration office.”  The bill is sponsored by State Senate President Russell Pearce, the same person behind SB 1070 and notorious anti-immigrant activist.

The measure was shelved yesterday due to a lack of votes, but that won’t stop proponents from lobbying hard for the measure. 

Like SB 1070, this bill is not only mean-spirited but patently unconstitutional.  Set aside the fact that if it passes it will force untold number of legal citizens and resident aliens to hunt for their passport prior to a trip to the emergency room, for example, it sets doctors and other hospital staff up to violate professional codes of conduct and potentially commit malpractice. 

For those facilities that receive federal dollars in terms of Medicare and related monies, the 14th Amendment prohibits differing treatment of patients based on citizenship status.  But given that the sponsor of the measure is on a crusade to unwind the 14th Amendment the fact that SB 1405 fails to comply with federal constitutional law clearly does not matter.

Withholding care, in any form, prior to confirmation of citizenship status is also morally offensive, particularly for a profession charged first with doing “no harm.”  And it does nothing to address the crippling budget woes Arizona faces.  At this point the GOP has so fully embraced a racially biased anti-Latino agenda that the only way these measures will go away is for Latinos and racially tolerant Americans to abandon the party all together.

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120 comments

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8:01PM PDT on Oct 16, 2012

Thank you for article.

8:01PM PDT on Oct 16, 2012

Thank you for article.

8:09AM PDT on May 1, 2011

What a load of crap & a step back in time.

9:06PM PST on Feb 19, 2011

Oh my goodness ! Having to verify citizenship before getting non emergency care could be embarrassing to those poor illegals. How can Arizona be so inhumane ! Is there no end to this ? There certainly seems to be no end to Jessica's outrage on behalf of the illegals who are close enough to Mexico to take advantage of the excellent medical care in their own country without the embarrassment.

7:15PM PST on Feb 19, 2011

"Any person who . . . encourages or induces an alien to . . . reside . . . knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such . . . residence is . . . in violation of law, shall be punished as provided . . . for each alien in respect to whom such a violation occurs . . . fined under title 18 . . . imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both."

Section 274 felonies under the federal Immigration and Nationality Act, INA 274A(a)(1)(A):

A person (including a group of persons, business, organization, or local government) commits a federal felony when she or he:

* assists an alien s/he should reasonably know is illegally in the U.S. or who lacks employment authorization, by transporting, sheltering, or assisting him or her to obtain employment, or

* encourages that alien to remain in the U.S. by referring him or her to an employer or by acting as employer or agent for an employer in any way, or

* knowingly assists illegal aliens due to personal convictions.

Penalties upon conviction include criminal fines, imprisonment, and forfeiture of vehicles and real property used to commit the crime. Anyone employing or contracting with an illegal alien without verifying his or her work authorization status is guilty of a misdemeanor. Aliens and employers violating immigration laws are subject to arrest, detention, and seizure of their vehicles or property. In addition, individuals or entities who engage in racketeering enterprises that commit (or conspire to commit) immigr

12:45AM PST on Feb 19, 2011

MY CONGRADULATIONS TO THE PERSON WHO ACTUALLY TOOK THE TIME TO PUBLISH A COPY OF THE LEGISLATION REGARDING THIS HOSPITAL POLICY . AND TO RUADH.S, IF YOU TOOK THE TIME TO ACTUALLY READ THE FIRST LINE OF MY COMMENT, YOU WOULD HAVE NOTICED THAT I SAID THAT NO ONE REGARDLESS OF CITIZENSHIP STATUS SHOULD BE DENIED LIFESAVING CARE. BUT I GUESS THAT YOU WERE TO ENRAGED ABOUT MY USE OF CAPITAL LETTERS. SHOUTING? WOULD BE TOUGH ON PRINT.
ALSO TO THOSE WHO THINK THAT THIS LAW WILL AFFECT THE HOSPITAL CARE OF TRAVELLERS, I DOUBT IT BECAUSE SINCE YOU NEED A PASSPORT TO TRAVEL WORLD WIDE, AND THUS ARE NOT UNDOCUMENTED. THE WHOLE BALL OF WAX HERE IS THIS COUNTRY NOT BEING ABLE TO AFFORD THE HEALTH CARE OF ANYONE WHO SNEAKS IN THE COUNTRY ON THE SLY.

8:46PM PST on Feb 18, 2011

Arizona's leadership are showing that they are ghouls-heartless monsters- non human. That governor over there and everything that walks and sqwarks like her. It will be enjoyable when she reaps what she has sown and wants forgiveness and me for one has none to afford her and them. I was born human. I feel what it means to be human. I have compassion. About health and healthcare-- after ww2 the american government in its wisdom brought nazi scientists to america and gave them complete freedom to experiment on the american public in places given for them to set up shop. Not knowing that and living in times when news articles told the tales of such experiments with no mention of just "whom" was doing the experimenting. So now I have learned. I learned lymes disease was nazi made off of new york and is now it is our problem. We don't know why we are battling any diseases cause the home grown n's have been experimenting on the public. We humans need to stop the hatred we have for each other and see our commonality and come together. The same freaks of yester are the ones over taking our country and dividing us and will conquer us. Same people different appearance. We have been under assault since 2000 we are headed for a man made depression and health crisis. We need to stop the hatred and find common ground to deal with our life issues so we all can survive in this life with some quality of life and not be jealous of each other cause one seeming has more paper goods than the ot

9:03AM PST on Feb 18, 2011

Bad illegals coming here wasting our money
Good tourists with passports and valid visas bad illegal aliens sneaking in and taking all Americans in other countries illegally won't get medical help anyway try it you liberal worriers

2:56AM PST on Feb 18, 2011

NO ONE IS DENIED CARE! READ THE BILL! It is NOT saying anyone will be denied! It is saying that while providing treatment, they will check legal status. IF one is found illegal, they'll be reported to the authorities. Of course, under BO's admin, they'll prob just find out anything else the illegals need & provide it for them, from our tax dollars. That said, none of this will prob matter anyway...

11:45PM PST on Feb 17, 2011

The backlash to American citizens in need of medical assistance abroad, will be devastating. Way to go conservatives. As usual, in your zeal to appease your bigotry and hate, you just tighten the noose on everyone-including yourselves. By now, this is SO typical.

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