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Biden Administration Expands Obamacare Coverage for ‘Dreamers’

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Friday morning the Biden administration announced it is expanding health-care access for “Dreamers”, a select group of illegal immigrants brought to the country as children. Illegal immigrants enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will be granted access to health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, according to the White House. Beginning in November, DACA members will be able to apply for healthcare coverage on healthcare.gov and state level insurance marketplaces.

“I’m proud of the contributions of Dreamers to our country and committed to providing Dreamers the support they need to succeed,” President Joe Biden said in a prepared statement. “And that’s why today we are taking this historic step to ensure that DACA recipients have the same access to health care through the Affordable Care Act as their neighbors.”

National Review notes Biden was vice president when then-president Barack Obama created DACA through executive order over a decade ago. The program gives deportation protections and work visas to illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. An estimated 580,000 people are enrolled in the program. Former president Donald Trump failed to put an end to DACA during his term and the program continues to be fought in court.

Over 100,000 DACA beneficiaries will purchase health insurance in the Health Insurance Marketplace and Basic Health Program created by the Affordable Care Act, the Department of Health and Human Services estimates. Access to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program will not be incorporated into the White House’s new rule after Biden proposed doing so last year, according to National Review.

“Now as Vice President, I have worked alongside President Biden to take steps to preserve and fortify DACA. Today, we are building on this progress by ensuring DACA recipients also have access to affordable health care, which will improve the health of all communities,” Vice President Kamala Harris said in a prepared statement. “This announcement will bring relief to more than 100,000 people and help them thrive while working to achieve their aspirations.”

The White House did not share a cost estimate for the expansion of Obamacare to DACA recipients. They will be eligible for financial assistance to help them afford the health insurance DACA enrollees are now eligible to purchase.

Biden called for Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform and to give Dreamers permanent citizenship. It’s unlikely that Congress will grant Biden’s wishes, given the failure of the Senate’s bipartisan immigration package earlier this year. Conservatives widely rejected the Senate’s proposal for not being tough enough on the southern border at a time when record levels of illegal immigrants are entering the country.

Immigration is a top issue for voters in the 2024 election because of the surge in border crossings under Biden’s watch. Polls indicate that Americans believe that Trump is better suited to handle the crisis at the southern border with his hardline approach.

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Economy

Illegal migrants refuse to leave Denver encampments, make demands of city including ‘fresh, culturally appropriate’ food and free lawyers

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A group of illegal immigrants in Denver is not only refusing to leave encampments, but also have the audacity to take no actions until the city meets its demands. The migrants were organized enough to publish a document with 13 specific demands before they “acquiesce to Denver Human Services’ request to leave the encampments and move to more permanent shelters funded by the city” reports Fox News.

Demands were made following the Denver government obtaining a petition to have the migrants moved, according to the outlet. The Denver mayor has been under pressure from the city’s ongoing migrant crisis, making headlines and receiving stiff backlash earlier this year for proposing budget cuts to the city’s government, including cuts to the city’s police force, to fund more money for dealing with the city’s migrant crisis.

The list of demands was sent to Mayor Mike Johnston and included requests for provisions of “fresh, culturally appropriate” food, no time limits on showers and free immigration lawyers, the outlet reported. Further details of the demands read, “Migrants will cook their own food with fresh, culturally appropriate ingredients provided by the City instead of premade meals – rice, chicken, flour, oil, butter, tomatoes, onions, etc… Shower access will be available without time limits & can be accessed whenever… Medical professional visits will happen regularly & referrals/connections for specialty care will be made as needed.”

The migrants also insisted they get “connection to employment support, including work permit applications for those who qualify,” as well as “Consultations for each person/family with a free immigration lawyer.” The migrants insisted that if these are not met, they will not leave their tent community.

“At the end of the day, what we do not want is families on the streets of Denver,” Jon Ewing, a spokesman for Denver Human Services, told Fox 31.

The current encampment is situated “near train tracks and under a bridge,” Fox 31 noted, adding that it has been there for the last couple of weeks.

Ewing told Fox 31 the city just wants “to get families to leave that camp and come inside,” noting its offer will give migrants “three square meals a day” and the freedom to cook.

He also said the government is willing to work with people to compromise and help them figure out what kind of assistance they qualify for.

Ultimately, Ewing said, the city wants to work with migrants to determine, “What might be something that is a feasible path for you to success that is not staying on the streets of Denver?”

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