Texas has an interesting history of love and hate for Hispanics. In our years as a state, Texas has tried some severe ways to rid herself of her darker children. Keep in mind that Hispanics have been in Texas over 500 years, while white Europeans have been here about 200 years. And Texas has been speaking Spanish since Adam was a boy.

First, Texas tried to keep from providing education for the children of “illegal aliens” or else require them to pay to send their children to school. The historic case was taken to the Supreme Court. The justices declared in Plyler vs. Doe (1982) that it is unconstitutional for any state to pass a law whose outcome would be the creation of ignorance. So Texas school boards had to eat some humble pie and keep giving free education to all those little Hispanic kids.

Next, Texas decided that she did not want to provide medical treatment for anyone who is not a citizen of our country. Well, once again the federal government stepped in with the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, aka the EMTALA Law of 1986. This law says that any emergency room in the country has to provide emergency lifesaving treatment to any person who presents in any hospital emergency room that receives federal funding. And this includes a woman about to deliver a baby. And no, the federal government did not make any arrangements to pay for the care they ordered.

Here’s the way I understand EMTALA. Suppose you drive to Mississippi to visit your Aunt Connie and on the way, say in Louisiana, you have a medical emergency, like a car wreck. If you go to the emergency room, they are required to provide treatment for you regardless of ability to pay. The understanding is that Texas will reciprocate and provide care for a traveler from Louisiana. Sounds good so far, yeah? The problem came when people from all over the world presented in our emergency rooms.

It seems the wise justices did not exclude anyone, regardless of citizenship. So we ended up providing care for people who are here illegally. And again, the feds did not offer to pay for the care. This angered many people who do not practice “Do Unto Others.” But we still have to provide everyone medical care, citizen or not, whether we like it or not.

Now Texas has agreed with President Donald Trump, and we will not include Hispanics in the census count if they live in Texas without permission. I am surprised that someone has not come up with the suggestion that they count as three-fifths of a man like they did with slaves back in 1787. Maybe if the people in Washington knew a little more history, they would. Anyway, some of my people will not be counted in this year’s census.

The result is that there will be fewer people counted than actually live here. This could result in our getting one or two fewer seats in the House of Representatives. And since about two-thirds of our representatives from Texas are Republican, the president has ensured that we will have fewer Republicans in the House.

I don’t believe that is what he wanted. Someone might say that he is like the cartoon character Wile E. Coyote who sets traps for the Road Runner and the traps backfire and blow him up instead.

RAMIRO VALDEZ has been a frequent guest columnist in the Denton Record-Chronicle and is a retired area counselor. He welcomes feedback and suggestions via letters to the editor or emailed to rambam.valdez@gmail.com.

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