No Documents? Then No Health Care!

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.

Photo credit: wikimedia commons


New G.
W. C4 years ago

I agree with the last comment.

J.C. H.
Jc Honeycutt5 years ago

Penny M., thanks for your comment: it reminds me of Tom Russell's song, "Who's Gonna Build Your Wall?" ( anyone interested.

Christopher M., are you suggesting that the public tax-supported hospitals (not limited to the taxes of citizens, I believe) should refuse to treat immigrants with life-threatening conditions or babies about to be born? Hell, why not put them in a helicopter, fly over the US/Mexico border and drop them in the Sonoran desert while you're at it?

One reason I feel strongly about this issue is due to my own ancestors, who came to the US from Ireland during the potato famine and, I'm sure, had to put up with the same crap that's being dished out to Hispanics and other groups now. "Plus ca change, plus c'est le meme chose." Racism, it seems, it always with us: it's just the particular group that changes from time to time.

Jane Barton
Jane Barton5 years ago

Our states generously dished out free health care, free housing, free food and free educations
for illegal aliens for as long as they could. Now the states are broke and the money's gone.
Instead of whining because the gravy train is over, how about they do the right thing, go through the proper channels, get legal and buy some insurance like the rest of the AMERICAN CITIZENS. Did anybody ever think of that? Americans all have to work and pay taxes and buy insurance, so can they. If that's too much trouble well then there's always their wonderful native land that will welcome them back.

Marianne C.
Marianne C5 years ago


"Many states ARE losing..."

Marianne C.
Marianne C5 years ago

Many states of losing millions of dollars each year treating illegal aliens -- money which was intended to go, and should have gone, to treat low-income Americans. One hospital in Florida even spent $30,000 to return a patient to his home country in Central America because they couldn't afford to keep him any longer --after having already spent over $1,000,000 on that single patient!

For years, Americans have complained that we can't be the whole world's police force. Well, we can't AFFORD to be the whole world's health care service. Too many of our own citizens are going in want and need while illegals are sucking up millions in health care that, while totally free to them, is costing US far more than we can afford.

Christopher M.
Christopher M.5 years ago

Why don't we manufacture computer programmers instead of import them?

Penny M.
Penelope Melko5 years ago

Specifically which jobs are the illegals taking away from Americans?... gardeners, brush clearing, cooks, housekeepers, migratory workers? Migratory workers can be as young as 12 years old because child labor laws don't apply to them. Why can't americans apply for those jobs, or are they applying but not getting hired? There must be tangible reasons around some of you not wanting immigrants for some logical reason other than the propaganda about health care that most of them don't get! I thought people could rising to something more than stomping on the lowest economic group in this entire country beside the blacks who are treated like garbage.

65,000 annual H1B work visas are issued annually. This is the quota. They fill the "technology gap" for various information technology personnel. They can apply for permanent residency and within about 3 1/2 years apply for citizenship during this time. Gee, should that quota number be revised to be zero?

Christopher M.
Christopher M.5 years ago

Well, usually we readers don't have to touch immigrant jobs with a ten foot pole, unless you include Information Technology as an immigrant job, which I don't know, seems to have quite a share of H2B visas.

Maybe if I had stayed in sociology and never studied computer programming, maybe.

Christopher M.
Christopher M.5 years ago

There are plenty of AMERICANS that need JOBS but the illegals get it instead..... Send them back where they came from.

Christopher M.
Christopher M.5 years ago

I had cancer in 1997 when I was poor. I was successfully treated, but I did owe $4,000 of the original $12,000 which was not forgiven. Forgiveness might have had something to do with disability and a lot of education (Master's).

I believe Winchester Medical Center (Virginia) and City Hospital (Martinsburg, WV) are required to treat life threatening conditions and labor regardless of ability to pay.