Are they are violating federal law ?

Two national civil rights organizations are criticizing Collin County commissioners for prohibiting nonprofit clinics from treating illegal immigrants with county funds. Officials with the League of United Latin American Citizens and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund say they think... show more Two national civil rights organizations are criticizing Collin County commissioners for prohibiting nonprofit clinics from treating illegal immigrants with county funds.

Officials with the League of United Latin American Citizens and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund say they think commissioners are violating federal privacy and health care laws.

"There's no constitutional basis to limit these kinds of programs to U.S. citizens," said Nina Perales, regional counsel for MALDEF in San Antonio.

Commissioners maintain they can legally ask nonprofit clinics that receive county grants to report each patient's name, age, address, medical diagnosis and the last four digits of his or her Social Security number.

"To me, it's not a racial situation," Commissioner Jerry Hoagland said. "It's an economic situation. If you don't want to abide by the rules, don't take the money."

Several clinics have complained about the new reporting requirements, saying the policy forces them to violate patient confidentiality laws and play the role of immigration officer.

Clinics can still treat illegal immigrants, as long as they use other funds, commissioners have stressed. The county is not seeking personal information on patients treated with other funds.

One clinic, Children and Community Health Center of McKinney, has said it will reject its $30,000 grant rather than comply with the reporting requirements. Another, Frisco Cares Children's Clinic, says it may refuse its $11,000 grant.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/city/collin/stories/DN-outcry_07cco.ART.West.Edition1.3762b2a.html
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