Verification of lawful presences in the United States shall not be required:
For any purpose for which lawful presence in the United States is not required by law, ordinance, or rule;
For obtaining health care items and services that are necessary for the treatment of an emergency medical condition of the person involved and are not related to an organ transplant procedure;
For short-term, non-cash, in-kind emergency disaster relief;
For public health assistance for immunization with respect to diseases and for testing and treatment of symptoms of communicable diseases;
For programs, services, or assistance, such as soup kitchens, crisis counseling and intervention, and short-term shelter specified by Federal laws or regulations that:
– Deliver in-kind services at the community level, including services through public or private nonprofit agencies;
– Do not condition the provision of assistance, the amount of assistance provided, or the cost of assistance provided on the individual recipient’s income or resources; and
– Are necessary for the protection of life or safety or;
For parental care.
Are these exemptions enough to make it a good bill? I don’t know – apparently, plenty of State House Democrats thought so. But regardless, they seem to be way beyond what Baker was willing even to consider, since he told State House News, “I think we should require it for everything.”
I don’t think that many people seriously advocate making state benefits routinely available to people not present in the U.S. legally. But the devil is in the details in these things. Perry, to his credit, has made some effort to recognize that, and he was almost rewarded for doing so by getting his proposal through an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature. Baker, to his discredit, doesn’t seem interested in that; rather, his interest seems to be Limbaugh-esque talking points about “illegals.” Great.