Health info won’t be used to enforce immigration law

Immigrants at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Queens office in New York. Photo: AFPMSN News – by Darlene Superville 

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is stressing that information submitted while signing up for coverage under a major new health care law will not be used to enforce immigration law.

That’s always been the practice, but some immigrants fear that personal details could be used against them. That led the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to clarify. In a memo released late Friday, the agency said it does not use information provided during the health coverage enrollment process to pursue civil immigration enforcement.  

People living illegally in the U.S. are barred from benefits under the Affordable Care Act health law, but U.S. citizens and legal residents living with them may be eligible.

Related: Another month of fixes for health care website

Some applicants must provide information on the citizenship status of those who live with them to help make sure the household is processed correctly.

Gillian Christensen, an agency spokeswoman, said Friday’s statement is consistent with the agency’s longstanding practices.

Immigrant advocates welcomed the administration’s decision to be clear about how a person’s information will be used.

Jennifer Ng’andu, a health policy expert with the National Council of La Raza, a Latino advocacy group, said Saturday that advocates want uninsured Hispanics to not be afraid to sign up for coverage.

Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed.


3 thoughts on “Health info won’t be used to enforce immigration law

  1. oh yea come on in all you foreign criminals. we will take care of you. not to worry. free everything and the duffus gringos get to pay for it all.

  2. No surprises here. Absolutely nothing is being used to enforce immigration law, but you can bet your last dollar that the health info will be used to enforce every other law against anyone who happens to be a middle class white person.

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