(a) As used in this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

Terms Used In Alabama Code 31-13-7

(1) EMERGENCY MEDICAL CONDITION. The same meaning as provided in 42 U.S.C. § 1396b(v)(3).

(2) FEDERAL PUBLIC BENEFITS. The same meaning as provided in 8 U.S.C. § 1611.

(3) STATE OR LOCAL PUBLIC BENEFITS. The same meaning as provided in 8 U.S.C. § 1621.

(b) An alien who is not lawfully present in the United States and who is not defined as an alien eligible for public benefits under 8 U.S.C. § 1621(a) or 8 U.S.C. § 1641 shall not receive any state or local public benefits.

(c) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (e) or where exempted by federal law, commencing on September 1, 2011, each agency or political subdivision of the state shall verify with the federal government the lawful presence in the United States of each alien who applies for state or local public benefits, pursuant to 8 U.S.C. §§ 1373(c), 1621, and 1625.

(d) An agency of this state or a county, city, town, or other political subdivision of this state may not consider race, color, or national origin in the enforcement of this section.

(e) Verification of lawful presence in the United States shall not be required for any of the following:

(1) For primary or secondary school education, and state or local public benefits that are listed in 8 U.S.C. § 1621(b).

(2) For obtaining health care items and services that are necessary for the treatment of an emergency medical condition of the person involved and are not related to an organ transplant procedure.

(3) For short term, noncash, in kind emergency disaster relief.

(4) For public health assistance for immunizations with respect to immunizable diseases, for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, and for testing and treatment of symptoms of communicable diseases, whether or not such symptoms are caused by a communicable disease.

(5) For programs, services, or assistance, such as soup kitchens, crisis counseling and intervention, and short-term shelter specified by federal law or regulation that satisfy all of the following:

a. Deliver in-kind services at the community level, including services through public or private nonprofit agencies.

b. Do not condition the provision of assistance, the amount of assistance provided, or the cost of assistance provided on the income or resources of the individual recipient.

c. Are necessary for the protection of life or safety.

(6) For prenatal care.

(7) For child protective services and adult protective services and domestic violence services workers.

(f) No official of this state or political subdivision of this state shall attempt to independently make a final determination of whether an alien is lawfully present in the United States. An alien’s lawful presence in the United States shall be verified by the federal government pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1373(c).

(g) Any United States citizen applying for state or local public benefits, except those benefits described in subsection (e), shall sign a declaration that he or she is a United States citizen.

(h) Any person who knowingly makes a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation in a declaration executed pursuant to subsection (g) shall be guilty of perjury in the second degree pursuant to Section 13A-10-102. Each time that a person receives a public benefit based upon such a statement or representation shall constitute a separate violation of Section 13A-10-102.

(i) The verification that an alien seeking state or local public benefits is an alien lawfully present in the United States shall be made through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements (SAVE) program, operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security. If for any reason the verification of an alien’s lawful presence through the SAVE program is delayed or inconclusive, the alien shall be eligible for state or local public benefits in the interim period if the alien signs a declaration that he or she is an alien lawfully present in the United States. The penalties under subsection (h) shall apply to any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation made in a declaration.

(j) Each state agency or department that administers a program that provides state or local public benefits shall provide an annual report with respect to its compliance with this section to the Government Affairs Committee of the Senate and the Government Operations Committee of the House of Representatives, or any successor committees.

(k) Errors and significant delays resulting from use of the SAVE program shall be reported to the United States Department of Homeland Security and to the Alabama Department of Homeland Security to assist the federal government in ensuring that the application of the SAVE program is not wrongfully denying benefits to aliens lawfully present in the United States.

(l) For the purposes of administering the Alabama Child Health Insurance Program, verification and documentation of lawful presence through any alternative means expressly authorized by federal law shall satisfy the requirements of this section.

(Act 2011-535, §7.)