Under the final Senate health care bill signed into law (unlike the earlier House version), illegal aliens are screened out. Only persons who can prove they are "a citizen or national of the United States or an alien lawfully present in the United States" get to participate.
In other words, when you try to buy a policy through an exchange, or seek a subsidy, or receive any of the other supposed benefits, you will be told "show me your papers."
Just like in Arizona now. If you are contacted lawfully by the police. And if the police officer has a reasonable suspicion that you are here illegally. And if you cannot produce any of the specified common forms of identification. And in that case, the officer has to try to confirm your status with the federal immigration authorities.
The burden of producing identification under the Arizona law is no more intrusive than the documentation you need to fly; or ride an Amtrak train; or check into a hotel; or rent a car; or cash a check.
It certainly is less intrusive than the health care mandate, which forces people to spend money or be penalized, and requires that employers and taxpayers report to the government about insurance status. I find it quite interesting that the same people who insist that the federal government can control virtually all aspects of our health care find it so horrid when a state government seeks to protect its citizens by verifying immigration status.
In a perfect world, perhaps we could go through our lives without ever being told "show me your papers." And there would be no problems with foreign drug gangs and terrorist groups. And immigration would be controlled at the border.
But this is not a perfect world, as the people of Arizona can attest.
But it also is not the equivalent of being in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, or apartheid South Africa, as is being claimed by opponents of the Arizona law. Anymore so than a molehill is a mountain.
If being told "show me your papers" under the Arizona law constitutes the equivalent of any of those evil forms of government, what does that make Obamacare? And the Democrats who voted for it? And the President who signed it? And the bureaucrats who will implement it? And the doctors who will provide services under it? And the patients who will participate in it?
Are they all now Nazis, and Communists, and Apartheidists? Just like the people of Arizona.
Update: Talk about having to show your papers, Michelle Malkin: Police state: How Mexico treats illegal aliens.
Byron York has an even longer list of things for which we already have to show our papers:
No, we are not confronted by actors with heavy German accents demanding our papers.
We are instead confronted routinely by people of all stripes asking to see our driver's license. When we board an airplane, we are asked to produce a government-issued photo ID, usually a driver's license. When we make some credit- or debit-card purchases in department stores, we are asked to produce a driver's license. When we enter many office buildings, both private and government, security guards often ask us to produce a driver's license. When we go to doctors' offices and hospitals, we are asked to produce a driver's license. When we check into hotels, we are asked to produce a driver's license.
When we purchase some over-the-counter drugs, we are asked to produce a driver's license. If we go to a bar or nightclub, anyone who looks at all young is asked to produce a driver's license. And needless to say, if we have any encounter with police or other authorities, we are asked to produce a driver's license.
Some situations involve an even higher level of scrutiny. When we get a new job, we are asked to provide not a driver's license but a passport or birth certificate to prove citizenship. In other situations, too: When I renewed my District of Columbia driver's license last year, I had to produce a passport to prove citizenship, even though it was a valid, unexpired license I was renewing. And in many places, buying a gun -- a constitutionally-protected right -- involves enormous scrutiny.
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