Bill would force hospitals to report illegal immigrants to feds

Arizona lawmakers have proposed a bill that would require hospitals to report illegal immigrants who show up for treatment, 670BOI reports. Senate Bill 1405 requires hospital staff to check the legal status of all patients before admitting them for non-emergency care, Politico reports.

The first of its kind nationally, the bill is drawing opposition from those who fear the rule would scare immigrants away from seeking healthcare or make hospital staff do INS work.

The bill places the burden on hospitals to act as immigration agents, according to state Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. Supporters, meanwhile, maintain that the bill would help fight illegal immigration. "We're going to enforce our laws without apology," state Senate President Russell Pearce said.

Although the bill would allow hospitals to give illegal immigrants emergency care, it would require such facilities to report illegal patients once the care was delivered. Should the law be passed, any hospital that fails to comply could be sued by the state, the Arizona Republic reports.

To learn more:
- read the Politico article
- here's the 670WBOI article
- read the Arizona Republic article
- here's the bill (.pdf)

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