How important is it to stop illegal immigration in the state of Tennessee? Well, if you ask the legislature, it’s worth putting your health at risk.
According to a new bill being proposed at the capital, in an effort to ensure no government benefits or support goes to any undocumented person in the state, a person will need proof of citizenship for a myriad of aid and assistance. Called the “Eligibility Verification for Entitlements Act,” the new law would require paperwork and documentation of citizenship that must be verified before receiving “state, local, or federal public benefits from an agency or political subdivision of this state.”
Although emergency care (except for organ transplants) and “immunizations with respect to immunizable diseases” are exempt from the list of benefits that will be withheld without proper paperwork, the obvious attempt to inject fear of being deported into basic, everyday health needs and procedures makes it much less likely that the undocumented population will continue to receive the necessary vaccines at the rate needed to keep up the herd immunity that keeps diseases like measles, whooping cough and other illnesses at bay.
Supporters of the law say that the new “proof of citizenship” rules would cut down on the costs to programs that are being used on non-citizens, although they admit they have no idea how much would actually be saved and have no projected numbers to supply to support their conviction. But at least they will have found another way to make sure illegal immigrants know they are not welcome.
Even if it may put more of the population at risk for health issues.
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