Testimony against HB63: Citizens Protection Act of 2017

Dr. Alison Stuebe testified at the NC General Assembly against HB63: Citizens Protection Act of 2017 (full text of the bill).

Here’s what she had to say.

Thank you for the opportunity to testify today. My name is Alison Stuebe, and I am a high risk obstetrician living in Chapel Hill. I am here today to testify against HB 63 because this bill is an unnatural disaster for our community.

Already, indiscriminate enforcement of immigration laws is spreading fear and suffering among parents and children in our community.

This fear of being stopped and deported is keeping my patients from coming to prenatal appointments. I have pregnant patients with diabetes who are taking insulin and need frequent checkups. Uncontrolled diabetes increases the risk of stillbirth; it also increases the chances that the newborn will have dangerously low blood sugars after birth and be admitted to the neonatal critical care center, doubling costs for newborn care.

The members of this committee have among you 19 children and 5 grandchildren. I ask you to remember, for a moment, the joy and the deep-seated fear that is part and parcel of pregnancy. Imagine if you were bleeding, or in early labor, or worried your baby was not moving. Then imagine having to weigh the risk of being stopped and imprisonned or deported against the risk of harm befalling your unborn child. If you vote for this bill, you will vote to delay or deny access to life-saving care.

My pediatric colleagues tell me that this same fear is keeping undocumented parents from taking children to sick visits and well-child checks, undermining preventive care and causing small problems to fester until they become medical emergencies. This same fear is stopping undocumented victims of domestic violence from calling the police, lest they attract the attention of the legal system.

This fear of seeking support from local law enforcement endangers the entire community, emboldening criminals to act without fear of reprisal. An as you yourself have said, vice chairman Faircloth, “An unsafe community cannot function well or provide quality of life for its citizens.”

Above all, this law violates fundamental rights guaranteed to all persons by our constitution. Chairman Blust, I understand you have a reputation for courageously doing the right thing for your constituents. I urge you to call on that courage and vote no on HB 63.

You can read Dr. Stuebe’s op-ed in The News & Observer (March 4, 2017).