New York: Gov. Cuomo Ensures Medicaid Coverage for DACA Recipients Regardless of Federal Action

2018 MIDTERM ELECTION

Time: D H M S

Press Release: Governor Cuomo Ensures Medicaid Coverage for DACA Recipients Regardless of Federal Action
If Congress Does Not Act to Protect DACA, New York DACA Recipients will Remain Eligible for State-Funded Medicaid

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy will remain eligible for state-funded Medicaid, regardless of any federal changes to or termination of the program. There are approximately 42,000* DACA recipients in New York, many of whom are at risk of losing their employment-based health insurance if the federal government changes or terminates the program. Under New York law, DACA recipients are considered PRUCOL (Permanently Residing Under Color of Law) and eligible for state-funded Medicaid or CHIP.

Note: This is slightly lower than my own spitball estimate of around 50,000 DACA recipients.

"The federal government's failure to take action to protect DACA recipients is appalling, un-American, unjust and puts hundreds of thousands of children at risk. Here in New York we will do everything in our power to protect DACA recipients and ensure they receive health care," Governor Cuomo said. "As Washington holds DACA recipients hostage for funding for a wall, we will not allow vitriol and dysfunction to put lives at risk. We will continue to stand up for the rights of immigrants, and will continue to defend the principles of opportunity and equality that this state and this nation were founded upon."

DACA allows for undocumented immigrants who entered the country as minors to be eligible for work permits and receive renewable periods of deferred action from deportation. After the Trump Administration announced plans to terminate the DACA program, New York State filed a complaint to protect New York Dreamers.

Information on applying for or renewing Medicaid coverage for DACA recipients is available here. The state funds all of the costs associated with this coverage.

The New York State Office for New Americans

Governor Cuomo established the Office for New Americans to assist newcomers to New York State who are eager to contribute to our economy and become part of the family of New York State. The New York State Office for New Americans helps New Americans fully participate in New York State civic and economic life.

The Office is committed to strengthening New York State's welcoming environment for New Americans and facilitating their success by:

  • Creating a network of neighborhood-based "Opportunity" Centers;
  • Increasing access to English-for-Speakers-of-Other-Languages (ESOL) training;
  • Preparing New Americans for the naturalization process;
  • Connecting New Americans to business resources to harness their entrepreneurial spirit;
  • Developing and leveraging the professional skills of New Americans;
  • Strengthening the connections between New Americans and their communities through civic engagement and other opportunities;
  • Reduce exploitation of New Americans by scammers and con artists; and
  • Marshal State resources to better serve New Americans.

The New York State Liberty Defense Project

The Liberty Defense Project is the first-in-the-nation, state-led public-private project to assist immigrants, regardless of status, in obtaining access to legal services and process. In 2017, Governor Cuomo announced a historic $11.4 million investment in this project.

The Liberty Defense Project is administered by the state's Office for New Americans and is run in partnership with law firms, legal associations, advocacy organizations, major colleges and universities, and bar associations.

The Liberty Defense Project provides:

  • Free legal consultations and screenings for immigrants throughout New York State;
  • Direct representation to immigrants in deportation proceedings as well as other cases;
  • Help with filing immigration applications for naturalization, employment authorization, permanent residency, etc.; and
  • Know Your Rights trainings for immigrants and community at large.

More information on New York State's resources for immigrants is available here.