Arizona bill for mandatory immigration checks in hospitals
United States, 29th January: Soon, hospital officials will be asked to carry out compulsory immigration checks in Arizona.
This will be done under a new bill introduced in Arizona.
Compulsory immigration checks in Arizona hospitals—Hospitals in Arizona will have to check the immigration status of uninsured patients. And they will have to inform federal immigration officers if the uninsured patients are unable to furnish sufficient proof of their legal stay in the US, the bill maintains.
A new Arizona bill will make it compulsory for state hospital officials to verify the immigration status of all uninsured patients.
That’s not all. Arizona hospital staff will be required to file annual reports showing details of the number of patients with unlawful immigrant status in the US treated by them. The bill has been introduced by Republican Steve Smith(Maricopa).
H.B. 2293 for tracking immigrants getting free medical care--The bill named H.B. 2293 will aim to keep a detailed record of the actual number of undocumented immigrants in Arizona getting access to free medical care.
Meanwhile, the Republican has clarified that the new Arizona bill does not, in any way, intend to stop giving free medical services to undocumented immigrants in this US state. In fact, the intention is to just have related details, he affirmed.
The bill comes closely on the heels of a latest Healthcare and Human Services inspector general which states that undocumented immigrants received Medicare services worth $91 million.
Legalized harassment of undocumented immigrants—Critics—Meanwhile, many have expressed their opposition to the new Arizona bill. The bill is likely to scare off immigrants with undocumented status to get medical care in Arizona.
According to executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, Jessica Gonzalez Rojas, the bill will lead to legalizing the harassment of Arizona immigrants.
So, immigrants would be vulnerable in Arizona, she maintained.
The Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association has felt alarmed by the new bill. Wouldn’t it be irrational to collect immigration statistics of uninsured patients in a hospital, asked Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association’s Pete Wertheim.
Immigrants, especially immigrant women, are already subject to several obstacles to get access to health care in Arizona, said Gonzalez-Rojas.