FILE -President Joe Biden talks at the University of Tampa in Tampa, Florida, on Thursday, February 9, 2023, about his administration's intentions to maintain Social Security and Medicare while bringing down healthcare prices. Biden will declare that his administration will offer hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally as children eligibility for Medicare and the Affordable Care Act's exchanges. According to two sources with knowledge of the situation who spoke on the record under the condition of anonymity prior to an announcement on Thursday, April 13, 2023. (AP Photo/File: Patrick Semansky)
Washington, D.C. The Affordable Care Act's health insurance marketplaces and Medicaid will be open to hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were brought to the country illegally as children, President Joe Biden stated on Thursday.
Participants in the Obama-era Deferred decision for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, will be able to use government-funded health insurance plans as a result of the decision.
In a video posted to his Twitter page, Biden remarked, "They're American in every sense except on paper. "We must provide Dreamers with the opportunities and assistance they merit."
Conservative state governors who have opposed Medicaid expansion and have been critical of the Biden administration's handling of illegal immigrants are expected to strongly oppose the measure. While Medicaid is funded and governed by the federal government, the states are in charge of running the program.
In order to protect immigrants who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents as children from deportation and to provide them permission to work legally in the nation, then-President Barack Obama introduced the DACA initiative in 2012. However, because the immigrants, often referred to as "Dreamers," did not fulfill the requirements for having "lawful presence" in the U.S., they were still ineligible for government-sponsored health insurance plans. By the end of the month, Biden's Department of Health and Human Services hopes to alter that.
The White House decision was made at a time when fewer people are becoming eligible for the DACA program and it is in legal jeopardy.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services reports that as of the end of last year, around 580,000 individuals were still registered for DACA. This figure is lower than in prior years. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is now unable to process new applications due to court orders. While Congress has been unable to agree on more comprehensive immigration legislation, the DACA program has been engaged in court disputes for years.