|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
Since Senator Russell Pearce became president of the Arizona Senate this year he’s ushered in a barrage of anti-immigrant legislation, most famously the assault on the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of birthright citizenship. Now the original sponsor of the infamous SB1070 has introduced a new bill that should attract even more notoriety. This one has the ominous overtones of being all but guaranteed to cause great harm and even death to some of the people in this state.
Senate Bill 1405 reads as follows:
A. BEFORE A HOSPITAL ADMITS A PERSON FOR NONEMERGENCY CARE, A HOSPITAL ADMISSIONS OFFICER MUST CONFIRM THAT THE PERSON IS A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES, A LEGAL RESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OR LAWFULLY PRESENT IN THE UNITED STATES. THE ADMISSIONS OFFICER MAY USE ANY METHOD PRESCRIBED IN SECTION 1-501 TO VERIFY CITIZENSHIP OR LEGAL STATUS.
B. IF THE ADMISSIONS OFFICER DETERMINES THAT THE PERSON DOES NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF SUBSECTION A OF THIS SECTION, THE ADMISSIONS OFFICER MUST CONTACT THE LOCAL FEDERAL IMMIGRATION OFFICE.
C. IF THE HOSPITAL PROVIDES EMERGENCY MEDICAL CARE PURSUANT TO FEDERAL REQUIREMENTS TO A PERSON WHO DOES NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF SUBSECTION A OF THIS SECTION, ON SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT OF THE PATIENT THE ADMISSIONS OFFICER MUST CONTACT THE LOCAL FEDERAL IMMIGRATION OFFICE.
D. A HOSPITAL THAT COMPLIES WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SECTION IS NOT SUBJECT TO CIVIL LIABILITY.
What this means is that anyone who is admitted to or receives emergency care at a hospital will have to prove that they are lawfully present in the United States. This of course presents a whole hornet’s nest of problems-- the least of which is hospitals will most likely not appreciate being saddled with the added responsibility of immigration enforcement.