Ending DACA May Cost 40K New Yorkers Their Benefits


More than 40,000 New York State residents could lose healthcare benefits if the Trump administration’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program stands.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday that the Obama-era program, which granted legal status to about 800,000 foreign-born children brought to the United States by their parents, would begin to sunset in six months. Should Congress fail to pass a replacement, more than 30,000 DACA immigrants in New York would lose job-based health insurance while another 10,000 could lose state-supplied Medicaid coverage.

New York is one of the few states that provides health insurance to non-citizens, the result of a 2001 state Court of Appeals decision that ruled denying Medicaid to any legal resident violated the equal protection clauses of the state and U.S. constitutions. Immigrants in New York who are not citizens, but are living in the state lawfully, therefore, are entitled to Medicaid.

Because the federal government does not recognize the state court’s decision, New York pays the full cost for insuring these immigrants, with no federal subsidies, which are normally 50 percent.

No word from Albany yet on whether the state would continue to provide Medicaid to the 10,000, broaden the program to cover all former DACA residents or end the program completely.