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Immigration

Mayorkas visit to southern border Friday will be closed to the media

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Department of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas will visit the southern border Friday for a briefing on the influx of the unaccompanied children arriving at the border.

Due to Covid-19 precautions, the trip will not be open to the media and there will be no post-tour press brief.

According to a press release, Mayorkas will arrive in El Paso, Texas with a bipartisan delegation of Senators, including Se. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) to view operations and receive a briefing on the processing, shelter and transfer of unaccompanied children arriving at the border.

“We’ll be looking at some of the issues including this huge problem with unaccompanied kids coming across the border,” Portman said to reporters Thursday. “Those numbers have increased even more dramatically to the point that right now we have a true crisis in the detention facilities … We’re gonna talk about that tomorrow and we’ll see some of those facilities.”

The announcement comes after the Biden administration’s reported gag order on border officials.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Healthcare

CA to provide all low-income illegal immigrants health care at a cost of ‘$2.7 billion a year’

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On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a $307.9 billion operating budget “that pledges to make all low-income adults eligible for the state’s Medicaid program by 2024 regardless of their immigration status” reports the Associated Press.

The guarantee of free health care for low-income immigrants here illegally, is a “move that will provide coverage for an additional 764,000 people at an eventual cost of about $2.7 billion a year” adds the AP.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health care nonprofit, people living in the country illegally in 2020 accounted for roughly 7% of the population nationwide, or about 22.1 million people. The border crisis and number of migrants entering the United States illegally has skyrocketed to historic levels since 2020 when President Joe Biden took office.

Medicaid nationwide is the current combination of federal and state governments assisting Americans and low-income adults and children to receive free health care, but the federal government does not cover those living here illegally.

“Some states, including California, have used their own tax dollars to cover a portion of health care expenses for some low-income immigrants” reports the AP. “Now, California wants to be the first to do that for everyone.”

“This will represent the biggest expansion of coverage in the nation since the start of the Affordable Care Act in 2014,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a statewide consumer health care advocacy group. “In California we recognize (that) everybody benefits when everyone is covered.”

While 92% of Californians currently have some form of health insurance, “that will change once this budget is fully implemented, as adults living in the country illegally make up one of the largest groups of people without insurance in the state” the AP concludes.

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