When many think of illegal immigrants working in Alabama, they think of low wage, day laborers populating tomato fields, chicken plants and construction sites. Some think of workers huddled on a street corner waiting to hop into a van or pickup truck to be taken off to some job where they finish the day covered with dirt and sweat and a few dollars in their pockets.
It may be difficult for anyone to imagine a doctor, nurse, or physician’s assistant that passes the tough scrutiny of state boards to be here as an illegal alien. Still, Alabama doctors had until midnight Friday to provide the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners (ABME) and the Medical Licensure Commission of Alabama (MLC) proof they are in the state legally.
Back in mid-May, some 16,000 letters were sent to doctors demanding they provide proof of legal residency to the state regulatory agencies to be compliant with the Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act. On the Medical Examiners website they explained, “The ABME and the MLC are requiring that all current licensees complete a Declaration of Citizenship and Lawful Presence of an Alien and submit the completed form and the required documentation as soon as possible.”
Also on the website they provided a link to the document to be completed.
And what should they provide as proof they are legal residents?
The list is quite extensive. It includes; (1) Alabama Driver’s License or Identification issued by Department of Public Safety, (2) Driver’s License from other state that required proof of lawful presence, (3) Birth Certificate indicating US birth, (4) Valid US Passport, (5) Military Identification showing US as place of birth, (6) Naturalization documents, (7) Certificate of citizenship, (8) Consular report of birth abroad of US citizen, (9) Bureau of Indian Affairs identification, (10) American Indian Card issued by Homeland Security, (11) Final adoption decree showing person’s name and place of US birth, (12) A valid Uniformed Services Privileges and Identification Card, (13) Extract from a United States hospital record of birth created at the time of the person’s birth indicating the place of birth in the United States, or (14)
Certification of birth issued by U S Department of State.
While doctors and physician’s assistants had until May 31 to provide documentation to the state boards, Alabama’s 82,000 nurses got a bit of relief. They have until the end of August to provide similar documentation to the Alabama Board of Nursing.
All those in the medical profession are not taking this requirement lightly. Some are refusing to submit, while others are protesting loudly describing the requirement as a “communist” action and in some cases telling the requesting agencies to put the “request where the sun doesn’t shine.”
Already to be licensed in Alabama nurses must provide; (1) Verification of Licensure through their original Board of Nursing; (2) Official Nursing School Transcript to prove they are a graduate from a practical nursing program to be eligible for an LPN license and graduate from a registered nursing program to be eligible for RN licensure; and (3) they have to meet continuing education requirements. Despite all those prerequisites that should reveal much more than legal citizenship, medical professionals are being forced by the Alabama immigration law to prove they are in the U.S. legally.
The ABME warns, “It is important that all licensees comply with this request in a timely manner. A licensee will not be permitted to renew their license until this agency is in receipt of the signed Declaration and accompanying documentation.”