On April 13, 2023, the Biden Administration announced a new initiative to roll out government-sponsored healthcare benefits for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (known as DACA). Available benefits would include access to Medicaid, the children’s health insurance program, and subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.
This is a major victory for immigrants since, under existing laws, they can only access these federal programs when they become U.S. citizens or have lived in the United States as permanent residents (with green cards) for a minimum of 5 years.
Because the criteria for the DACA program date back to 2012, the impact of this proposal on DACA recipients is not fully understood. It is estimated that most DACA recipients are not in their 20s and 30s and that they may already have access to health care benefits through jobs or institutions. Even so, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 34% of the 600,000 immigrants enrolled in DACA do not have healthcare insurance.