Attorney General Bonta Joins Multistate Coalition in Support of Expanding Healthcare Access for DACA Recipients

Friday, June 23, 2023
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced joining a bipartisan coalition of 19 attorneys general in submitting a comment letter in support of a proposed federal rule that would expand eligibility for healthcare access for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and certain other noncitizens. The proposed rule, developed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the the Department of Health and Human Services, seeks to clarify the definition of “lawfully present” individuals, so that DACA recipients and some other noncitizens can qualify for federal health programs such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid. In today’s letter, Attorney General Bonta highlighted the important contributions of DACA recipients and other noncitizens in our communities, as well as California’s continuous commitment to ensuring their wellbeing.

“Everyone deserves to have access to high-quality and affordable healthcare, regardless of their immigration status,” said Attorney General Bonta. “California understands the vital role that DACA recipients play in our communities, and today’s letter commends the Biden Administration’s efforts to increase healthcare accessibility for this group and other noncitizens. My office will stand by our state’s most vulnerable communities as we continue advocating for a pathway to equality for all Californians.”

Nearly 30% of DACA recipients reside in California; the largest population of this demographic in any state. DACA recipients and their households make major economic contributions to California, paying billions in federal and local taxes each year to fund essential services within their communities. In California alone, they pay more than $2.1 billion in federal taxes and $1 billion in state and local taxes annually, according to the Center for American Progress. Additionally, DACA recipients and their families make invaluable social contributions in their neighborhoods as students, workers, and valued community members.

Specifically, the proposed rulemaking would make DACA recipients and certain other noncitizens eligible for:

  • The health insurance exchange and related subsidies created in the ACA;
  • Basic Health Programs; and, in some states;
  • Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

California remains committed to fighting for the rights of DACA recipients. In March, Attorney General Bonta co-led a coalition in an amicus brief pushing back against the ongoing, misguided effort led by Texas to end the DACA program. In 2021, Attorney General Bonta led a multistate coalition in an amicus brief pushing back on Texas’ earlier efforts to end DACA. He also led a multistate effort in support of the federal government’s work to preserve and fortify DACA through regulatory action.

In filing today’s letter, Attorney General Bonta was joined by the attorneys general of Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

A copy of the letter can be found here.

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