REPORT ILLEGAL ALIENS -- (House of Representatives - May 18, 2004)
(Mr. SMITH of Texas asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. SMITH of Texas. Mr. Speaker, last year illegal aliens cost taxpayers more than $1 billion in hospital costs.
I support H.R. 3722, introduced by the gentleman from California (Mr. Rohrabacher), which requires hospitals to report the immigration status of the individuals they treat. This bill also makes employers responsible for these medical costs if they employ the illegal alien.
Hospitals already collect information from patients. Reporting immigration status as a condition for receiving Federal funds is not overly burdensome.
We cannot afford to ignore the growing costs associated with illegal immigration. In my home State of Texas, health care for illegal immigrants costs taxpayers at least $170 million every year.
If we are serious about reducing illegal immigration, we need to support this legislation.