Immigration Relief for Parents and Youth = Whole Family Health Coverage in California

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced immigration executive actions that include a new program and an expansion of an existing program. The new program, “Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents”(DAPA), provides temporary work authorization and protection from deportation for certain undocumented parents with U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) children.  The President also expanded the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program to provide temporary work authorization and protection from deportation to an additional group of children who came to the US when they were young, have continuously lived in the US, and meet certain education and other requirements.

This brief provides information about DAPA and DACA and ideas about how to conduct outreach and enroll parents and children in DAPA and DACA families into health coverage programs.  Key findings include:

  • When fully implemented, immigration relief provides California, in particular, with an enormous opportunity to provide whole family health coverage.
  • Immigration relief could provide a welcome mat for parents to enroll already eligible but hard-to-reach children in health insurance programs.
  • As many as 1.1 million parents, young adults and children living in immigrant families in California could gain health coverage if granted immigration relief.