WASHINGTON — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and Ranking Member of the Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement Subcommittee, issued the following statement in support of today’s announcement by the Biden Administration to expand healthcare access under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which was among CPC’s asks for executive action on immigration:

“I want to thank and applaud President Biden and Secretary Becerra for today’s announcement that allows DACA recipients to access health care and enhances coverage for other groups, including those approved for Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status and children applying for humanitarian relief.  

“In November, I led 85 of my colleagues in urging the administration to finalize this rule.  As we noted, expanding health care coverage for these populations is vital. DACA recipients are disproportionately people of color and tend to experience higher barriers to health care. Youths approved for SIJ status often have to wait years before receiving a status adjustment. Today’s long-overdue announcement could help as many as 100,000 uninsured people finally gain coverage.

“Health care is a human right, and DACA recipients deserve access to that care just like everyone else. This was a major priority in the CPC’s Executive Action Agenda and we’re grateful to the President and his administration for ensuring that all people can access health coverage. I’m also proud to sponsor the Health Equity and Access under the Law for Immigrant Families (HEAL) Act with Representative Nanette Barragán which would codify this policy and eliminate barriers to health care for immigrants. I look forward to continuing to work with the Administration to expand access to health care.”