Arizona Senate Bills 1405 And 1611

There is a new bill wending its way through the Arizona state legislature that is sure to piss-off the pro-immigration crowd. SB 1405 would require hospitals in Arizona to verify a person’s legal right to be in the country before being admitted for non-emergency care. If the hospital determines the person is in the US illegally, the bill requires the hospital to notify US Immigration. People will still be treated for emergency care under federal guidelines, but SB 1405 requires the hospital to notify Immigration of any emergency patient after successful treatment.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio explains that the controversial measure is just one piece of a larger effort to curb illegal immigration. “These admission medical facilities are being flooded with people, and the public here is outraged that they have to wait in the back of the line, insurance rates go up — they want something done about it, and that’s just one piece of the puzzle,” Arpaio said on the Fox News program America’s HQ on Sunday. “What’s wrong with asking for someone’s identification?” he asked. “I don’t see any problem to see if someone’s here legally or illegally.”

Another bill working its way through the state legislature is SB 1611. SB1611, titled “Immigration Omnibus,” would tighten identification requirements for enrollment in public schools and other public services.

Under a 1982 U.S. Supreme Court decision, schools are not allowed to turn away students who cannot prove they are legal residents. SB 1611 addresses reporting requirements, mandating that the immigration-status question be asked.

Right now, parents only have to provide proff of a child’s age. A certified copy of a birth certificate is the most common way to do this, but it does not have to be a U.S. birth certificate.

Schools have to report parents who fail to provide such proof of age. SB 1611 would change the list of acceptable documents to specify that they be issued by the U.S. — a U.S. birth certificate, a U.S. passport or a certificate of naturalization, among others. That means schools would have to report parents using other documents.