Alabama Physicians Required to Prove They Are U.S. Citizens

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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Physicians and physician assistants in Alabama are now required to prove they are U.S. citizens, under the state’s 2011 immigration law.

Medical professionals received letters this week instructing them to submit paperwork to the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners (ABME) in order to maintain their license to practice.

“A person applying for or renewing a professional license is required to sign a declaration of U.S. citizenship and demonstrate U.S. citizenship or demonstrate lawful presence in the U.S., which is then verified by the federal government,” read the May 16 letter published by the Huffington Post.

It says the medical professional has only until May 31, 2013 to send the required documentation. “You will not be permitted to renew you license until this agency is in receipt of the signed Declaration and accompanying documentation,” said the letter.

Alabama immigration law H.B. 56 initially banned undocumented immigrated workers to engage in any business transactions in the state, include turning on utilities or registering mobile homes. When civil rights groups challenged the decision, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson blocked the provision in November 2011.

The 2012 revision bill, H.B. 658, narrowed the scope of immigration law, banning unauthorized immigrants from conducting business in the state with professional licenses. The revision has done little to eliminate criticism that the law drives immigrants out of the state.

Sources: Huffington Post, Colorlines