New York will continue to provide some illegal immigrant Dreamers with access to government-run Medicaid insurance no matter what happens in Washington, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.
There are 42,000 people living in New York who are protected by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals deportation amnesty, which makes them eligible for Medicaid in the state. Mr. Cuomo said given the uncertainty over the program in Washington, he wanted to guarantee the migrants health coverage.
“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,” Mr. Cuomo said.
State taxpayers bear all costs for the coverage because federal law prohibits federal taxpayers from paying for illegal immigrants.
The state also assured Dreamers their information won’t be shared with federal immigration authorities.
Immigrant rights groups cheered the move to extend coverage, saying it carved a humane path forward amid uncertainty elsewhere.