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20500 Dear President Obama, We thank you for taking the bold step of announcing the new Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on June 15th. This program will enable over one million young aspiring Americans to live without fear of deportation and to use their education and talents effectively to work and support their families. DACA will fundamentally change the lives of these young people and their families and will be a boon to our nation’s economy. So far, the program has been a tremendous success and has inspired a new hope in immigrant communities and in those who support them. We applaud the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, which has, so far, acted in a timely and responsible manner to bring the vision for this program to life – deadlines have been met, communication has been constant, open and earnest, and the application process has been straightforward and fair. In turn, DREAMers, organizations which serve the immigrant community, media partners and everyday individuals have been working around the clock to ensure that potential beneficiaries have the help they need to take advantage of this historic opportunity. However, we are gravely disappointed and concerned with the recent announcement by your administration to exclude youth approved for the new deferred action policy from key features of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to prevent children and pregnant women approved for DACA from enrolling in affordable, health insurance under the state option available in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Prior to this announcement, federal rules would have allowed DACA beneficiaries, like others granted deferred action, to enroll in these affordable health coverage programs if otherwise eligible. At the Rose Garden announcement of the DACA program, you described undocumented youth as fully integrated into American society, educated, and ready to fulfill their dreams. The decision to single us out by restricting us from access to affordable health care runs counter to that vision. It also runs counter to the purpose of your signature legislative achievement—the Affordable Care Act—which was meant to ensure that access to affordable health care would be within the reach of millions for whom it was not previously available. Discriminating against undocumented youth by restricting access to coverage places the health of children, youth, pregnant women and their newborn infants at risk, and fails to ensure that young workers and students remain healthy and productive. Furthermore, it interferes with the cost-‐effective strategy of including healthy and young individuals in the nation’s risk pool. We cannot see any legitimate policy reasons for the changes announced by your administration at the end of August, more than a year before the bulk of the Affordable Care Act is set to take effect in 2014. We are also extremely concerned that states hostile to immigrants will attempt to use your
administration’s decision to further restrict opportunities for individuals granted deferred action under the DACA program. Indeed, immediately following the August 30 announcement, Arizona Governor Brewer seized the opportunity to claim that this provides support for Arizona’s plans to deny DACA beneficiaries access to driver’s licenses and other state benefits. We strongly urge your administration to reconsider its decision and to take note of our unified and determined desire to see that DREAMers are treated with fairness, dignity and the respect that they deserve. We, the immigrant youth across the nation, and the organizations listed below, will continue to encourage young people to seize this historic opportunity to work and to fulfill their dreams, free from the immediate threat of deportation. We also remain committed to ensuring that the Affordable Care Act achieves its goals of improving access to coverage and care, and will continue to educate our communities about its benefits. We hope that we can count on your administration to ensure that undocumented youth are integrated fully into U.S. society, with all of the rights, responsibilities and support necessary to make this happen. Sincerely, United We Dream Network Children Now Abortion Care Network CHIRLA Advocates for Women Center for Law and Social Policy Advocates for Youth Clinica Sierra Vista AIDS Foundation of Chicago Coalition for Asian American Children and Families AIDS United (Washington, D.C.) Coalition of Labor Union Women Alliance for a Just Society Coalition on Human Needs America's Voice Education Fund Colorado Center on Law and Policy American Association of University Women Community Catalyst (AAUW) Community Service Society of NY American College Occupational Medicine Connecticut Legal Services Americans for Immigrant Justice Consejo de Federaciones Mexicanas-‐ COFEM, CA Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum California Pan-‐Ethnic Health Network Asian American Institute Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund Asian American Justice Center (DREDF) Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund Earth Mama Healing, Inc. Asian and Pacific Islanders California Network El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos, New Mexico Asian Law Alliance Empire Justice Center Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council Fair Immigration Reform Movement Asian Pacific American Legal Center Families for Freedom Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Family Equality Council Organizations Farmworker Justice Association of Reproductive Health Professionals Filipino Advocates for Justice Black Women for Wellness First Focus California Immigrant Policy Center Forward Together California Latinas for Reproductive Justice Franciscan Action Network Campaign for Community Change Gay and Lesbian Medical Association Catholics for Choice Generation Alliance Center for Reproductive Rights Greater Hartford legal Aid Center for Women Policy Studies Having Our Say
Health Care for all Massachusetts Health Care for all NY Idaho Community Action Network, Idaho IL Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights Immigrant Legal Resource Center Iowa Citizens for Community Investment, Iowa Jewish Council for Public Affairs Korean American Resource and Cultural Center, Illinois Korean Resource Center, CA Law Students for Reproductive Justice League of United Latin American Citizens Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service Madera Coalition For Community Justice Main Street Alliance Maine Equal Justice Make The Road NY MALDEF Maryland Disability Law Center Massachusetts Immigrant and Refuge Advocate Coalition MIRA Coalition MataHari: Eye of the Day Maternal And Child Health Access MomsRising Ms. Foundation for Women NAPAFASA National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF) National Assembly on school based Health National Association of Community Health Centers National Association of Social Workers National Center for Lesbian Rights National Center for Transgender Equality National Coalition for LGBT Health National Council of Jewish Women National Council of La Raza National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association National Gay and Lesbian Task Force National Health Law Program National Hispanic Medical Association National Immigration Forum National Immigration Law Center National Korean American Service and Education Consortium, NAKASEC National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
National Minority AIDS Council National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights National Organization for Women National Partnership for Women & Families National Research Center for Women & Families National Women's Health Network New York Immigration Coalition, NY NHLEGAL Northwest Health Law Advocates Northwest Immigrant Rights Project National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance One America One America, Washington Para los Niños Pennsylvania Immigrant and Citizens Coalition, Pennsylvania People For the American Way Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California Public Justice Center Raising Women's Voices for the Health Care We Need Reformed Church of Highland Reproductive Health Technologies Project SC Appleseed SEARAC Services, Immigrant Rights and Education Network Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States SHIRE South Asian council for Social Services Street Level Health Project Sunflower Community Action Network, Kansas Tennessee Justice Center The Episcopal Church The Legal Aid Society of San Mateo The National Assembly on School-‐Based Health Care Unid@s Virginia Poverty Law Center Vision y Compromiso Washington CAN! Western Center on Law and Poverty Who is my neighbor, Inc. WICIR Young Invincible YWCA USA
Cc: The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Sally Howard, Chief of Staff to Secretary Sebelius Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President of the United States Cecilia Munoz, Director, White House Domestic Policy Council Alejandro Mayorkas, Director, USCIS Rebecca Carson, Chief of Staff to Director Mayorkas Jon Carson, Director of the Office of Public Engagement, White House Felicia Escobar, Senior Policy Director for Immigration, White House DPC Tyler Moran, Deputy Policy Director for Immigration, White House DPC Julie Rodriguez, Associate Director of Public Engagement, White House Cindy Mann, Director, Center for Medicaid and State Operations Jeanne Lambrew, Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy Liz Fowler, Special Assistant to the President for. Healthcare and Economic Policy
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?