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Source: White House
Subject: Health Justice & Access

WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Advocates, Leaders Applaud Administration’s New Action to Expand Affordable, Quality Health Care Coverage to DACA Recipients

Last week, the Biden-Harris Administration expanded affordable, quality health care coverage to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. Dreamers are our loved ones, our nurses, teachers, and small business owners, and President Biden and Vice President Harris believe they deserve the promise of health care just like all of us. The final rule announced last week will provide Dreamers the same access to health care under the Affordable Care Act as other Americans, twelve years after President Obama and Vice President Biden provided a path for them to live and work legally in the United States.

While only Congress can provide Dreamers permanent status and a pathway to citizenship, President Biden remains committed to protecting and preserving DACA and providing Dreamers with the opportunities and support they need to succeed, including access to affordable, quality health care coverage.

See below for what they are saying:

Congressional Leaders And Caucuses

Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY): “I applaud President Biden for this highly impactful policy change that lives up to the greatest ideals of America and will improve the lives of so many Dreamers.” [Tweet, 5/3/24]

Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV): “This is incredible news, and it’s going to make a real difference here in Nevada.” [Tweet, 5/3/24]

Senator John Fetterman (D-PA): “Joe Biden is a president who delivers—this time for Dreamers, who will now have expanded access to affordable, high-quality health care through the Affordable Care Act.” [Tweet, 5/3/24]

Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA): “NEWS: DACA recipients will be eligible for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act starting this year! Grateful that @POTUS heeded @HispanicCaucus calls to secure high quality and affordable health care for DACA recipients.” [Tweet, 5/3/24]

Senator Laphonza Butler (D-CA): “I applaud@potus and his administration for taking a step toward bettering the lives of DACA recipients. Starting this November, more than 100K DACA recipients will be eligible to enroll in Affordable Care Act coverage.” [Tweet, 5/3/24]

Rep. Nannette Barragan (D-CA-44): “CHC applauds the Biden-Harris administration for expanding access to the ACA to Dreamers. This is a huge win for Dreamers who will now have access to affordable healthcare. […] Everyone deserves access to healthcare. Now, tens of thousands of Dreamers who are American in every way and are part of the American fabric will have access to high quality and affordable health insurance. This will pave the road to healthier communities and improve their quality of lives.” [Statement, 5/3/2024]

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20): “Over the last twelve years, DACA has allowed hundreds of thousands of first-generation Americans to graduate from college, join the workforce, and chase their American dreams in the only country many of them have ever known. Throughout that time, these young Americans have been asked to work and pay taxes to support a system of affordable health care that excluded them. Today’s announcement is an important step forward to right that wrong. The rapid spread and devastating toll of the COVID-19 pandemic was a reminder that our country is safer when everyone has access to the care they need. I’m proud to see the Biden administration heed the calls of public health advocates and immigrant communities and open the Affordable Care Act marketplace to DACA recipients, and I hope the administration will also move to similarly expand Medicaid and CHIP eligibility as soon as possible.” [Statement, 5/3/2024]

Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX-16): “DACA recipients work the same jobs and pay the same taxes as anyone in our community, and some have been doing so for years. It’s only right that they have access to the same healthcare services. I’m thankful the Biden administration is taking this historic step.” [Tweet, 5/3/2024]

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA-07): “I want to thank and applaud President Biden and Secretary Becerra for today’s announcement that allows DACA recipients to access health care and enhances coverage for other groups, including those approved for Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status and children applying for humanitarian relief. […] Health care is a human right, and DACA recipients deserve access to that care just like everyone else.” [Statement, 5/3/2024]

Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA-38): “Great news – @POTUS announced that DACA recipients will soon be able to access health care through the ACA.
DACA recipients pay taxes, contribute to our economy, & they deserve access to health care. I will continue fighting for health equity & citizenship for our Dreamers.” [Tweet, 5/3/2024]

Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX-29): “I have been fighting for our Dreamers since before I came to Congress, and I commend the Biden Administration for taking this critical step in expanding access to the #AffordableCareAct to include #DACA recipients.” [Tweet, 5/3/2024]

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18): “Amazing progress, thank you @POTUS!” [Tweet, 5/3/2024]

Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA-05): “NEWS: DACA recipients will now have access to affordable, quality health insurance through the ACA.
President Biden is committed to supporting our dreamers, who are an integral part of the fabric of America. They deserve the promise of health care just like all of us.” [Tweet, 5/3/2024]

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11): “This is fantastic news. DACA recipients are taxpayers like you and me. There is no reason they should be denied the option of getting health care coverage through the ACA. My colleagues and I urged President Biden to do this last year. Thankful to him for making it happen.” [Tweet, 5/3/2024]

Rep. Rob Menendez (D-NJ-08): “This is incredible news for Dreamers, allowing over 100K to have access to affordable and quality healthcare.
@POTUS is making good on his promise to protect and support DACA recipients. Healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and this rule reflects that belief.” [Tweet, 5/3/2024]

Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA-28): “DACA recipients are Americans through and through—serving their communities, opening businesses, and raising American families. Since President Obama’s creation of the DACA program in 2012, young people brought to this country by family, including thousands from Asia and the Pacific, have had the ability to obtain work permits, generate wealth for themselves and their community, and pay taxes that go toward the services we all benefit from. Today’s announcement by President Biden builds on the program—finally providing DACA recipients the life-changing opportunity to purchase health insurance on the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. Everyone deserves the security that comes with health care coverage and the ability to see a doctor for treatment, and I’m so thrilled that more than 100,000 DACA recipients will soon have access to that coverage.” [Statement,5/3/2024]

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA-12): “Last year, I sent a letter to @POTUS calling on his administration to expand health coverage for #DACA recipients. Today, he came through! This move will impact thousands. #Dreamers are Americans, and they deserve accessible, affordable, quality health care.” [Tweet, 5/3/2024]

Rep. Chuy Garcia (D-IL-04): “DACA recipients are our neighbors, coworkers, friends, and loved ones. They deserve health care like everyone else. I applaud the President for expanding access to health care for 100,000 DACA recipients” [Tweet,5/3/2024]

Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA-46): “DACA recipients are essential to our community—they’re our students, leaders, and servicemembers. I’m proud to have supported this new rule in Congress, and to finally see expanded health care access become a reality for these young adults.” [Tweet, 5/3/2024]

Rep. Deborah Ross (D-NC-02): “DACA recipients will soon be eligible for affordable, accessible health care coverage through the ACA.
I’m grateful for the leadership of @POTUS & his support for Dreamers. I’ll keep working to ensure all Dreamers can access the resources & care they deserve.” [Tweet, 5/3/2024]

Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA-52): “Dreamers are our neighbors, teachers, nurses, students, and family members. They should be able to access affordable health coverage in the only country they call home. I applaud the Biden Administration for taking this important step that will improve thousands of lives and provide Dreamers with the support they deserve. I’ll always stand up for Dreamers, and I’m not going to stop pushing for comprehensive immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship for the Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status holders, and farmworkers who enrich our economy and our communities.” [Statement,5/3/2024]

Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL-06): “Dreamers deserve accessible, affordable, and quality health care. This is a great move to ensure access for all.” [Tweet,5/3/2024]

Ranking Member Richard E. Neal, Ways and Means Committee: “Fourteen years after its passage, the Affordable Care Act remains a driving force behind building a stronger, healthier America. Today, the Biden Administration is correcting years of an unjust exclusion that has kept thousands from health care coverage, and finally bringing DACA recipients into the peace of mind and security that health coverage under the Affordable Care Act affords our nation. This is a historic step forward for our communities, and Ways and Means Democrats will continue to work towards the high-quality, affordable health care system that the American people deserve.” [Statement, 5/03/24]

Local Government

Mayor John Giles (Mesa, Arizona – R): Giving DACA recipients—who are often our nurses, teachers, and small business owners—the ability to purchase health insurance, is a smart and compassionate move. Thank you, @POTUS, for giving Dreamers access to affordable healthcare. [Tweet, 5/3/2024]

Mayor Ron Nirenberg (San Antonio, TX – I):Extremely grateful for @POTUS’ actions to expand the Affordable Care Act’s eligibility to DACA recipients. Texas is home to tens of thousands of dreamers. This step will undoubtedly improve San Antonio’s overall health. [Tweet, 5/3/2024]

Community and Advocacy Organizations

Voto Latino: “HUGE VICTORY: Thanks to the Biden Administration, more than 100,000 DACA recipients will have access to the Affordable Care Act for the first time ever. We’re by no means done. We must continue the fight to protect Dreamers everywhere.” [Statement, 5/03/24]

President Kica Matos, National Immigration Law Center: “We are thrilled that DACA recipients will finally be able to access health care through the Affordable Care Act. We commend the Biden administration for taking this important step for health equity and immigrant justice. Even as we celebrate this victory, we must also remember that politically motivated attacks on DACA continue, DACA recipients remain in limbo, and the health and wellbeing of our communities has suffered as a result. We continue to urge Congress to pass a pathway to citizenship for immigrant youth who call this country home, so they can enjoy the same peace and stability that we all need to thrive.” [Statement,5/03/24]

Executive Director Mayra Macias, Building Back Together: “Today’s announcement underscores President Biden’s commitment and unequivocal support for Dreamers and DACA recipients. Once again, the Biden-Harris Administration is taking a bold step towards equity and inclusivity in health care access by ensuring that approximately 100,000 DACA recipients can enjoy the peace of mind and security that access to health care brings. By expanding DACA recipients’ health care options, President Biden is reaffirming that health care is a fundamental right, and that everyone, including hardworking DACA recipients, deserves the opportunity and resources needed to live a healthy and fulfilling life.” [Statement,5/03/24]

Deputy Director Becca Telzak, Make the Road New York: “We applaud the efforts of the federal government to expand federal health care coverage to DACA recipients. This move, which follows in the footsteps of a hard-fought and successful campaign in New York to expand health care coverage to DACA recipients, will allow communities across the country to access affordable and quality healthcare coverage to see a doctor, receive preventative care, treatments and more and allows DACA recipients in New York who weren’t already covered by insurance to access federal tax credits and subsidies.” [Statement, 5/03/24]

President and CEO Gaby Pacheco, TheDream.US: “Today’s announcement is a meaningful step forward to help DACA recipients more fully participate and give back to this nation. DACA remains one of the most popular and successful immigration policies in U.S. history and its recipients are increasingly homeowners, essential employees, and parents heading households all throughout America. Ensuring their access to healthcare coverage through the ACA will help thousands of families sleep a little easier at night – including TheDream.US alumni who have relied on DACA to work as doctors, nurses, and in other healthcare occupations. Of course, at a time when the future of the DACA program itself remains uncertain due to legal challenges that have barred younger Dreamers from even applying into the program, we still need the same solution that is two decades in the making: Congress to work together to deliver permanent legal status for Dreamers with and without DACA. As we work toward that goal, we celebrate any steps forward that expands opportunities for Dreamers, such as today’s positive announcement.” [Statement, 5/03/24]

Alumna Indira Islas, TheDream.US: “I am proud to be part of a family of healthcare workers – my parents were doctors in Mexico, my sister is a nurse, and I am an aspiring doctor and have a graduate degree in public health. Providing opportunities and healthcare access to DACA recipients is good for families like mine and for the entire nation. The majority of Americans agree that Dreamers are Americans in all but their official paperwork and accessing healthcare shouldn’t be a barrier for any American. By eliminating this barrier to access the ACA marketplace, this rule will be a game-changer for over 100,000 DACA recipients. Our contributions as DACA recipients, including as fellow healthcare workers, have been well-documented. Today’s announcement is a good thing for us and for America.” [Statement, 5/03/24]

Executive Director Miriam Feldblum, Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration: “We applaud the rule expanding ACA eligibility access to DACA recipients. The Presidents’ Alliance had called on the current Administration to issue the regulation, which is much welcomed and will strengthen the nation. DACA recipients contribute billions of dollars in tax revenue annually, fill critical job shortages in our economy, are employed in essential jobs supporting our communities, and fuel our country with their talent and entrepreneurship.” [Statement, 5/03/24]