The Obama administration has been stressing that any information that is submitted whilst signing up for health coverage under the big new health care law will not be made use of in order to enforce immigration law. Although this has always been the case, many immigrants are afraid that their personal details will end up being used against them.
This fear has led to a decision to put some extra clarity on the situation by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. On Friday they decided to release a memo that said that it does not make use of information during the process of enrolling for health care in order to pursue civil immigration enforcement.
People who are illegally living in the United States are not themselves actually eligible from the benefits provided by the Affordable Care Act, by any legal residents or those who possess US citizenship that live with them may well be. Many applicants have to give information regarding the legal status of those who share their homes with them in order to ensure that the household is correctly processed, which has led to the fears of many undocumented immigrants.
Agency spokeswoman Gillian Christenson says that the statement that was issued on Friday remains consistent with the longstanding policies of the agency and immigration advocates have welcomed the decision to shed light on how personal information can and cannot be used. Health policy expert Jennifer Ng’andu from the Latino advocacy group the National Council of La Raza says that Hispanics who do not have insurance should not be afraid of signing up for health coverage.