The Census Bureau said 26.3 percent of children born in Nevada that year were to non-citizen mothers, second only to California, which had a rate of 29.1 percent, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported Monday. The report did not distinguish whether the mothers were legal or illegal immigrants.
In Washoe County, the school district has 11,243 students in English language programs, and 75 percent of them were born in the United States, said Mary Ann Robinson, district coordinator for the English Language Learner department.
Bill Welch, president of the Nevada Hospital Association, said in the past 18 months, four southern Nevada hospitals have closed their obstetrics wards.
“We have other hospitals evaluating their OB services at this time based on the number of uninsured and underinsured patients presenting to deliver babies,” Welch told the newspaper.
“OB already tends to be a loss leader for most hospitals,” Welch said. “What is collected in payments for services is typically less than what it costs to operate that department.”
Bob Fulkerson, executive director of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, cautioned against blaming non-citizens for problems in the health field.
He said non-citizens also contribute to local economies.
“They pay their sales taxes when they buy everything else here,” he said. “They pay property tax through their landlord or through the homes they own. They are paying into the system.
“Let’s not blame them for national immigration problems,” he said.