New law allows immigrants to access state programs

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-A newly passed bill ensures immigration status was not a reason to deny access to state and local funded programs in New Mexico.

Healthcare Attorney, Nicolas Cordova, said the bill, signed into law by the governor, likely impacts thousands of people.

“We know of patients who have gone to a hospital and been denied those financial assistance policy simply because of their immigration status, and they’ve been told to pay up to 20k upfront just to get medically necessary care,” said Cordova.

The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty said in the past; immigrants, Visa holders, essential workers, and taxpayers who funded the programs were excluded.

“What we saw during COVID, is a lot of immigrants in our community you know, served as essential workers in our community, but were actually denied the essentials to actually survive this pandemic,” added Cordova.

Now that practice is illegal in New Mexico. “As long as you meet the other qualifying criteria, such as low income or residency, you can qualify for these programs now,” Cordova said.