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No health insurance coverage to DACA approved DREAMers

The Obama Administration has clarified that DREAMers who receive a work permit and deferral on their deportation will not be entitled health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  While this maybe disappointing to many undocumented youth who want to start normal lives in the United States after they receive an EAD and a valid for Social Security number, but the reality is that many immigrants fail to realize that a DACA approval grants absolutely no legal status to them and they are still considered to be in the country unlawfully.  It is easy to forget that this process is nothing more than a stop-gap measure that puts a hold on their deportation and the future is very fragile.  A Romney presidency may fast track their deportation and if the lawsuit by immigration agents prevails, the approvals and employment authorization documents will become null almost immediately.

For the same reasons, the approved DREAMers are also ineligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  Typically such benefits are available only to citizens and people legally present in the United States.

In addition to this, there are many other restrictions on approved DREAMers, including only extremely limited ability to travel outside the United States, driving privileges, and out-of-state tuition.  From my discussions with many DREAMers, they have already been planning for applying for loans, mortgages, life insurance, credit cards, etc. but my advice would be to hold off on these actions till they achieve legal status in the country.