Posted by: mbarajasroman | January 29, 2013

HuffPo: Arizona Bill Would Turn Hospitals Into Immigration Checkpoints, But Exempts Canadians, Europeans (UPDATED)

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 01/28/2013 3:34 pm EST  |  Updated: 01/28/2013 6:43 pm EST

 An Arizona lawmaker wants to turn hospitals into immigration checkpoints — but the law wouldn’t apply in the same way to Canadians or many Europeans.

As Republicans and Democrats come together in Washington to debate immigration reform, Rep. Steve Smith, a Republican from Maricopa County, has submitted a proposal to the state legislature that would require the uninsured to provide proof of citizenship at hospital visits.

The proposed law has drawn sharp criticism from Latino groups, who say the bill would make undocumented immigrants less likely to seek care.

“This bill would legalize harassment of immigrants and, in fact, of any woman who looks like she could be an immigrant,” Jessica González-Rojas, executive director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health told The Los Angeles Times.

Smith says he filed the HB 2293 to find out how much the state pays to serve undocumented immigrants and denies that it amounts to crack down on illegal immigration.

“It’s a data collection bill, that’s what it is,” Smith said last week, according to an Arizona ABC News affiliate. “That’s it. We don’t deny anybody. They don’t come in and not get treated. Everything stays the same, we just want it documented.”

But some in the healthcare industry say the bill would disrupt their work.

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