House Passes Bill on Indigent Care for Immigrants
A contentious measure that would allow Texas counties to consider the income of a legal immigrant’s sponsor when determining if the immigrant is eligible for indigent health care passed the Texas House this week (May 16). Senate Bill 420, by Texas Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, also would allow counties to take into consideration the income of a sponsor’s spouse when the applicant requested indigent care. A sponsored alien is one who is admitted into the country legally after an affidavit of support is submitted in his or her favor by a U.S. citizen sponsor. The bill passed the House 100 to 37; it passed the Senate last month. The bill is permissive, and does not mandate counties adopt this rule.