The Biden administration is preparing to give individuals health care who arrived in the country illegally as children and are enrolled in the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the White House said in a statement Thursday.
The new program would mean eligible DACA recipients, who are also known as Dreamers, could get coverage under Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, the White House said in its statement. The Obama administration started the DACA program in 2012 to ensure illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children had opportunities.
“President Biden and Vice President Harris believe that health care should be a right, not a privilege. Together, they promised to protect and strengthen the ACA and Medicaid, lowering costs and expanding coverage so that every American has the peace of mind that health insurance brings,” the White House said in a statement Thursday.
The Biden administration also renewed calls urging Congress to grant citizenship to DACA recipients.
“The President’s announcement gives DACA recipients that same opportunity, as the Administration continues to urge Congress to provide a pathway to citizenship to Dreamers, providing them the ultimate peace of mind they need and deserve,” the White House added.
Roughly 600,000 individuals were actively enrolled in the DACA program in 2022, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services data.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in October 2022 that DACA was “illegal,” preventing new applicants to the program after several Republican states sued.
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