In response to President Biden’s expansion of access to health care coverage to recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, First Focus on Children President Bruce Lesley issued the following statement:

“All people, including children, deserve access to quality, affordable health care coverage. The DACA program grants lawful presence to individuals, but until now they have been denied access to health care coverage through the ACA Marketplace or Medicaid. We applaud the Biden Administration for fixing this error and expanding access to health care coverage for DACA recipients. This policy decision will advance the health and well-being of more than 300,000 U.S. citizen children whose parents have DACA, as research shows that children are more likely to have health coverage when their parents do.

As the Administration does its part to preserve the health and well-being of DACA recipients and their families, we urge Congress to do its part by providing a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. For too many years, people who came to the United States as children have continued to be live in limbo in the only country they call home. Court cases continue to threaten the DACA program, increasing fear and anxiety for thousands of children and families. It is beyond time to ensure family unity and stability for these families through a pathway to citizenship.”