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MCN Applauds Immigration Accountability Executive Actions; Calls for Expansion of ACA to Cover Immigrants Affected

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Migrant Clinicians Network (MCN) applauds President Obama’s Immigration Accountability Executive Actions, which address several key weaknesses in our US immigration policy. His executive action allows an estimated 5 million people -- unauthorized immigrants with US citizen or permanent resident children, as well as some unauthorized immigrants brought to the US as children -- to apply for temporary visas in order to remain in the US without threat of removal. We support this effort as a meaningful change that will provide humanitarian relief for many immigrant families. Millions of hard-working families can live and work without the constant fear of deportation or separation from their loved ones.

While these actions represent a tremendous step forward in rebuilding our nation’s immigration strategy, we would like to add to the voices from all corners from the country -- clinicians, health care organizations and social justice advocates -- calling for the President and Congress to take decisive action to provide for the essential health care needs of our immigrants. The executive action as it currently stands continues to deny access to health care through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for those 5 million newly protected immigrants, which leaves most without coverage. We call on all states to allow Medicaid expansion under ACA and to extend this coverage to immigrants affected by this executive action.

MCN works with clinicians and other health care professionals across the country, who witness the daily struggles of immigrants suffering from illness and workplace injuries. Without sufficient health coverage, and with the fear of deportation, undocumented immigrants delay treatment, which can cause their illnesses to worsen. Their subsequent emergency care is more expensive and less effective. We firmly believe that all people, regardless of race, income, or immigration status, deserve access to quality health care. We urge the administration to extend affordable health coverage under the ACA to those immigrants who benefit from these executive actions.

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