Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Medical privacy should extend to illegal immigrants

The News & Observer has a story this morning about an illegal immigrant in nearby Alamance County who was arrested after using the county's public health clinic.

In what is becoming a favorite tactic of immigration enforcement, the woman was charged with four federal felonies related to her use of false documents. While law enforcement officials are fond of saying that they only pursue illegal immigrants who commit or are suspected of committing crimes, the documentation statutes mean that nearly all working immigrants fall into this category.

What is more alarming in this case, however, is that the information that was used to pursue the immigrant appears to have come from the health department itself. The health department is being investigated for providing notes and other documents for illegal immigrants that use the immigrants' assumed identities instead of their true identities. It appears that the arrested immigrant's name came up in that investigation.

While immigration extremists advocate a scorched earth policy of making every institution in the U.S. as inhospitable to illegal immigrants as possible, there are good reasons for maintaining confidentiality when receiving health services or reporting crimes. In the case of health clinics, the community has a vested interest in all residents getting treatment and in the health department being able to track diseases. The risks of highly communicable diseases like TB, meningitis, or severe flu spreading through a community are too high. In this particular case, the immigrant is the parent of a U.S. citizen, so there is an additional interest in that child being able to get treatment.

Sometimes officials need to look the other way for the greater good. The arrest in Alamance County appears to be especially short-sighted.


zeezil said...

FOUR felonies related to ID theft!!!

Illegal aliens have a unique, gangster-style vision of the American Dream. In their corrupt minds, they think it makes perfect sense, both logically and morally, to ignore America's borders, immigration laws, ID laws and income tax laws in order to pursue a far greater objective. They feel entitled to pursue their own personal enrichment at the expense of the American citizen, worker and taxpayer. se puede!!!

zeezil said...

"The risks of highly communicable diseases like TB, meningitis, or severe flu spreading through a community are too high."

Exactly. And not only do we need to immediately shut off the flow of illegals by closing the border we need to actively seek out and deport ALL illegal aliens without exception!

zeezil said...

Identity theft in America goes hand and hand with illegal immigration.

As everyone knows, America is experiencing an epidemic of identity theft. In the last five years alone, complaints to the Federal Trade Commission from U.S. residents who have had their identity stolen have skyrocketed 60 percent, to 258,427 in 2007—one-third of all consumer fraud complaints that the commission receives. What’s less well understood, however, is how illegal immigration is helping to fuel this rash of crime. Seeking access to jobs, credit, and driver’s licenses, many undocumented aliens are using the personal data of real Americans on forged documents. The immigrants’ identity theft has become so pervasive that the need to combat it is “a disturbing front in the war against illegal immigration,” according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The FTC’s latest statistics help show why. The top five states in terms of reported identity theft in 2007 all have large immigrant populations—the border states of Arizona, California, and Texas, as well as Florida and Nevada. People who pilfer legitimate identities in these states are much more likely than in other parts of the country to use them to gain employment unlawfully—the most common reason that illegal aliens steal personal information. In Arizona, for instance, 36 percent of all identity theft is for employment purposes, compared with only 5 percent in Maine, a state with far fewer illegal aliens. “To many law enforcement leaders in Arizona, this suggests that Arizona’s identity-theft epidemic is directly linked to the problem of illegal immigration,” says a recent report by Identity Theft 911, an Arizona company that helps businesses and individuals protect themselves.

Dave Ribar said...


Thanks for the comments.

"Gangster-style vision" The motivation for most immigrants is simply a better standard of living than they can get in their home countries--nothing especially sinister in that. For the person in the article, she was brought here as a child and grew up here.

"Risks." All of those diseases can be contracted here. Regardless of the source, we would want the ability to stamp them out once they appeared in a community.

"Identity theft." The theft here was of the identity of a dead person.

You seem to have a lot of faith in government's ability to identify and deport people. With so many illegal immigrants already here (and with our economy so dependent on them), wholesale deportation is unrealistic.

Anonymous said...

FOUR relonies related to ID Theft. I am sorry she and her familyt committed a crime. It does not matter whether the person's whose SSN she stole was dead or not. It is the principle that she stole it. She committed a crime.

The real crime is the failure to enforce our immigration laws. And there should be NO MEDICAL PRIVACY for illegal aliens. I am asked for my SSN when I go to for treatment, why shouldn't an illegal.

We must not let illegals evade law enforcement through this fictious medical privay.

Anonymous said...

Just because someone wants a better life does not entitle to break into the country in violation of our immigration and live and get benefits. They should be working to make life better in the country they live in. Not invade ours.

As it is overpopulation is one of the causes of air polution in this country. If we had fewer people the entire envrionment would be so much better. We need to stop building so many houses and letting so many immigrants and refugees come here. They are ruining our environment and pauperizing the country.

We need a time-out on ALL immigration and ALL Asylum applicants. The country is broke and needs to put its own house in order. Let the South American countries improve their own economies instead of looking to the US to take their poor, uneducated and unskilled iillegal migratns.

arturo fernandez said...

--"Gangster-style vision" The motivation for most immigrants is simply a better standard of living...

Anti-illegal-immigrant fanatics have a perverse view of what's right and wrong. What is honorable, getting ahead through hard work, is now gangster-like. Ultimately, their attack on illegal immigrants is an attack on America.

Dave Ribar said...


We all have an interest in all residents, whether they are illegal or not, coming forward to get medical treatment, report crimes, etc.

DinTN said...

Medical privacy should extend to illegal immigrants?
I didn't read any good reason why you think so. There is none.

Dave Ribar said...
"Identity theft." The theft here was of the identity of a dead person."
I see you have no respect for the deceased. How pitiful.


“There will be no “path to citizenship” given to any illegal alien. That means no amnesty. Not in any shape, manner, or form. I would not allow tax dollars to be used to pay for illegal aliens’ education, social services, or medical care. As President, I would end birthright citizenship for illegal aliens. There would be no “anchor babies” during my administration.’
“A Baldwin Administration will support our U.S. Border Patrol, not with meaningless words, but with action. And I guarantee you this: The day before my inauguration as President will be the last day the that Mr. Ramos and Mr. Campean will have to spend in prison. They will be released from prison on the first day that I that I am President and be returned to their jobs with the US Border Patrol if they still want them. Their persecution by the Bush Administration has been a disgrace and a nightmare for these gentlemen and their families. The nightmare ends the day I become President!”

Doug johnson said...

My mother was not dead when her Id was stolen. She been dead 2 years Not, I have not got this crap straighten out yet. If you are ever in a car wreck with these criminals, bet your ass they do not have car insurance. You friggin liberals like illegals for one reason, they vote straight democrat, the same reason you are against ID cards. My neighbors house was broken into by the SCUMB BAGS, the liberal judge, told them they must pay him back. How much you reckon, he got. I say round them up, and send them, liberals professors, and the liberal media with them, back from were they came, from. THEY MEAN NOTHING TO THE ECONOMONY that's a LIE liberal professors tell. Free health care, free schooling, free housing, wic coupons, little are no taxes. They will steal anything that not glue down. The jail are over running with these people. No fence needed. How about nice family in California that was killed by a illegal, that already had felony convictions.

Dave Ribar said...

Doug & Dintn:

The person was using an assumed social security number to work. There is no evidence that this person did anything EXCEPT pay taxes that couldn't benefit her.


Illegal aliens cannot vote, so your liberal motive goes out the window.

Was your mother's ID stolen by a citizen or an illegal alien?

As much as you would like to rant about this, the magical "round up" is not going to happen.

zeezil said...

This great country has sent a man to the moon and spacecraft to every planet’s solar system; mapped the human genome, cured incurable diseases, defeated the most powerful army in the world up to that time in the Revolution; defeated the most powerful armies in the world up to that time in WWI and II; rebuilt the warn torn countries of Japan and Germany, blunted the great Communist Soviet Union empire during the Cold War, established and built the greatest free nation ever on the face of the earth; but yet we hear people say that we can’t put 12 to 20 million people on busses and send them home…Hmmmmmmm...

Hell, Eisenhower deported 1 million illegal aliens in 1 years time with 1/10th the size of today's border patrol agents back in the late-50's. At least twice that number self-deported when they saw the consistent and relentless enforcement action being taken. ENFORCEMENT WORKS!

Dave Ribar said...


Eisenhower deported about 130,000; a total of 1 to 1.2 million left.

Eisenhower's program, which probably deported some citizens and native Americans, wouldn't pass Constitutional muster today.

Despite its draconian techniques, about 2/3 of the illegals who were in the country before "Operation Wetback" remained afterward.

zeezil said...

"Despite its draconian techniques, about 2/3 of the illegals who were in the country before "Operation Wetback" remained afterward."

That's only because the program was shut down prematurely. Had it continued, it would have chewed deeply into that "2/3". The Wisenhower effort worked and we can do it again. Don't let anyone ever tell you we can't. It just takes committment to solving our illegal immigration problem. Unfortunately we have few leaders and allmost all politicians are more interested in pandering and finding ways to grant amnesty that enforcing our currently existing immigration laws. The take home lesson from Eisenhower's effort is that ENFORCEMENT WORKS. Many more leave of their own accord (self-deport, attrition through enforcement) than are actually deported. This is futher evidenced today, even with spotty and mild ICE enforcement many illegals are leaving. CIS (Center for Immigration Studies) has just released a report this week that confirms that.

There is nothing in the Constitution that prevents deportation of immigration law violators, even mass deportations. There is nothing unconstitutional about any facet of our immigration enforcement.

Dave Ribar said...


You're right that there is nothing in the Constitution that prohibits deportations, but there are those "troublesome" rights regarding unreasonable searches and seizures as well as due process. Stopping every brown person as Operation Wetback did, would not pass muster.

One reason why Operation Wetback was stopped so quickly was the building outcry from citizens. If a program like that faced opposition in the 1950s, imagine what it would face today.

So, again, for a variety of reasons, wholesale deportation is unrealistic.

PS: As you are clearly proud of Eisenhower's "enforcement action," you should refer to it by its actual name.