The new enforcement of laws in Arizona is having a number of unexpected consequences for the poor. It's become a critical issue for the indigents seeking medical care. Because a new bill before the Arizona legislature would require medical officials to report anyone they suspect of being here without documentation to State authorities, many people who need medical care are avoiding getting it.
The Rev. Canon Carmen Guerrero, Canon for Peace and Justice of the Diocese of Arizona, President of Coalition of Episcopal Latinos and a priest on the staff of Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix is quoted at length in an article in the Christian Post.
Guerrero cuts right to the chase:
“Families with whom I work with are people of faith and have placed every aspect of their lives in the hands of God in comparison to those whom have their hopes on the power of destruction.”
The article continues:
"‘You are now turning medical professionals into full-time INS (Immigration & Naturalization Service) agents,' said Arizona Sen. Steve Gallardo, speaking at a news conference Monday. 'Doctors that should be working to help treat ill patients are now turning into ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents.'
Advocates argue that the bill is instrumental in the fight against illegal immigration, which cost hospitals tens of millions in lost revenue due to illegal immigrants being treated in emergency rooms.
Though the state legislature threw out the bill on Monday, Guerrero feels that lawmakers should in the future make decisions based on compassion for the individual, regardless of immigration status.
‘I believe that laws that do not let children, who are born in the United States, to be citizens are against the Gospel,’ she said in reference to the proposed Arizona bill that would deny automatic citizenship to children of illegal immigrants."
Read the full article here.