Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

DACA Resources

On September 5, 2017, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) will be rescinded. This page is dedicated to hosting relevant and helpful information and resources.

Quick Guide:

What to Know & Next Steps after September 5, 2017

Health Coverage Options in CA for DACA Recipients

Attend a Free DACA Renewal Workshop

What to Prepare for a DACA Renewal Appointment

What to know about DACA and Employment (Created by Advancing Justice-ALC, United We Dream and NILC)

 

 

What to Know & Next Steps after September 5, 2017 

  1. You have the right to work using your DACA work authorization until the date it expires. If you currently have DACA, you have the right to work until the expiration date listed on your work permit/employment authorization document (EAD) and your DACA approval notice. If your EAD is lost or stolen before it expires, you will be able to get a replacement.
  2. You do not need to remind your employer about the date your work authorization expires. You do not have to tell your employer that you have DACA, that DACA has been terminated or rescinded, or that your work authorization has expired or will expire. You are not responsible for raising the subject at all. Once your work permit expires, your employer can ask to see your new work permit. (See here.)
  3. It is unlawful for your employer to re-verify your work authorization to retaliate against you for raising a workplace issue. The California Labor Department confirms that employers do not need to re-verify your work authorization documents because of the administration’s recent decision to end DACA. If they do so in order to retaliate against any immigrant worker, they are violating the law. Our office can help you take legal action to remedy any such retaliation. 
  4. No new DACA applications will be accepted. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will only accept first-time DACA applications if they were filed on or before September 5, 2017. All initial DACA applications that are submitted after September 5, 2017 will be rejected.
  5. DACA approvals and work permits that expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 must be accepted for renewal by October 5, 2017. If you have a grant of DACA and a work permit that will expire between now and March 5, 2018, you must apply for a two-year renewal of your DACA by October 5, 2017. Unfortunately, people whose DACA expired before September 5, 2017, and did not submit a renewal application, will no longer be eligible for renewal. If you are eligible to renew under the above guidelines, you should do so immediately. Renewal applications must be accepted by USCIS, not just postmarked, by October 5, 2017 to ensure that your application is processed.
  6. Advance Parole to travel abroad is no longer available for DACA recipients. As of September 5, 2017, DACA recipients will no longer be eligible to travel abroad through Advance Parole. Any pending applications for advance parole will not be processed and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will refund any associated fees. 
  7. Your Social Security Number is still valid. The Social Security Number (SSN) that you received through your DACA is valid for life, even once your work permit and grant of DACA expire. You can and should continue to use the SSN that you got under DACA as your SSN even after your work permit expires. You can use your SSN for education, banking, housing and other purposes. Your SSN contains a condition on it that requires a valid work permit to use it for employment purposes.
  8. If possible, renew driver’s licenses and other identification cards while your DACA is valid. Eligibility and requirements for a driver’s license depend on the state in which you live. If you have not already done so, you can still apply for a driver’s license or state identification card if your DACA is valid and your DACA makes you eligible for a driver’s license or state-issued identification card in your state.
  9. Know your rights and learn about your other immigration options. Talk to an immigration services provider to learn whether you might be eligible for another immigration benefit, and to know your rights in case you are ever stopped or questioned by ICE. You can find a national directory to immigration nonprofits here: https://www.immigrationlawhelp.org/ and can find a Know Your Rights guide for immigrants here: https://www.nilc.org/get-involved/community-education-resources/know-you...
  10. This is a fight that we have to win! We will take every action possible to continue fighting for our undocumented community, and to urge Congress to provide a permanent solution to protect DACA recipients.

Health Coverage Options in California for DACA Recipients

In California, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients are exempt from the requirement to have health coverage. Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka “ACA” or “Obamacare”) does not allow DACA recipients to purchase health coverage from its health plans. However, DACA recipients can receive health insurance coverage through their employer, buy health insurance on the private health insurance marketplace or qualify for Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program that provides free or low cost medical services for children and adults with limited income and resources.

DACA recipients who meet the requirements for the Medi-Cal Program can apply for full scope Medi-Cal. For example, a person could be eligible for Medi-Cal if her/his annual income is at or below 138% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), or $16,642 for one person. Full scope Medi-Cal covers 10 essential health benefits including primary care, preventive check-ups, hospitalization, emergency care, prescription medication, lab services, rehabilitative services, maternity and newborn care, behavioral health, and oral health care.

1. Does the recent decision by the current administration to end the DACA Program in six months change my Medi-Cal coverage if I currently have it?

No, nothing will change with regards to your Medi-Cal coverage, unless your eligibility changes in some other way (i.e. your income becomes too high making you ineligible).

2. What if I lose my DACA status while I am currently receiving care through Medi-Cal?

You will still be eligible for Medi-Cal even if you are no longer a DACA recipient and should continue to seek health care if you need any health care services. People who have applied for DACA can claim PRUCOL (Permanently Residing Under Color of Law) status, and this should not change when your DACA status ends.

3. Can I apply for Medi-Cal if I am a DACA recipient?

Yes, all DACA recipients can still apply for Medi-Cal. There are no deadlines or open enrollment periods to apply for Medi-Cal.

4.  What are my options for health care after my DACA status expires?

a) You are still eligible for full scope Medi-Cal and should apply if you need health coverage. You will still need to meet Medi-Cal’s income guidelines (at or below 138% FPL). Anyone over 19 years old may also qualify for emergency or limited scope Medi-Cal which covers emergency care, pregnancy and postpartum care, breast and cervical cancer screenings, kidney dialysis and long term care services. If you know of other undocumented children and youth under 19 years old, they are also eligible for full-scope Medi-Cal regardless of their immigration status.

b) If you have been covered by your employer, you may lose your employee coverage if your employment is terminated. If this happens, you can continue your coverage through the COBRA program by paying the full premium yourself. You can also purchase health insurance on the private health insurance marketplace or qualify for Medi-Cal if you meet the income guidelines.

c)  You can look for other sources of health care in your local area. There may be community health centers providing comprehensive primary health care to those who are uninsured and underinsured regardless of their ability to pay; some charge for services on a sliding scale. There are over 1,400 community health centers in the country. To find one near you visit: https://www.findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/

d) Some California counties offer safety net health programs for low-income residents who do not qualify for Medi-Cal or cannot afford to buy health insurance, regardless of your immigration status. These programs are not health insurance but offer access to basic health care for county residents age 19 and older. Services can vary from county to county and some require minimum co-pays depending on your income. The following are some examples of county safety net programs:

  • In Alameda County, the HealthPAC program provides primary care, preventive check-ups, urgent care, hospitalizations, outpatient surgery, radiology and lab services, prescription medicines, mental health services, rehabilitative services, non-emergency medical transportation, and some specialty care. Website: https://www.acgov.org/health/indigent/pac-all.htm
  • In Fresno County, the Medically Indigent Services Program (MISP) provides short term assistance to pay from basic health care services. Covered services include primary care, hospitalizations, outpatient surgery, lab services, prescription medicines, home health care, rehabilitative services and some specialty care. Website: http://www.co.fresno.ca.us/DivisionPage.aspx?id=48797
  • In Los Angeles County, My Health LA provides primary care, preventive check-ups, hospitalization, emergency care, lab services, prescription medicines, and substance use treatment at some community clinics and county hospitals. Website: http://dhs.lacounty.gov/wps/portal/dhs/coverageoptions/myhealthla
  • In Sacramento County, the County Medically Indigent Services Program (CMISP) provides “medically necessary” primary care, preventive check-ups, prescription medicines, hospitalization, emergency care, some specialty care, and ancillary services. Website: http://www.dhhs.saccounty.net/PRI/Pages/CMISP/GI-CMISP.asp
  • In San Francisco County, Healthy San Francisco offers primary care, preventive check-ups, prescription medicines, hospitalization, emergency transportation, substance use treatment, lab services, and family planning services. Website: http://healthysanfrancisco.org/
  • In Ventura County, Health Care Program for the Uninsured in Ventura County provides access to primary care, urgent care and emergency room visits, lab services, prescription medicines, and mental health visits. Website: http://www.vchca.org/health-care-programs-for-the-uninsured-of-ventura-c...

5. Where can I get assistance to apply for Medi-Cal and other health programs or have any questions about obtaining health care services?

The Health Access Project at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles can help you to apply for Medi-Cal or answer any questions or concerns about accessing health care now or after you lose your DACA status. Please contact us at [email protected] or (213) 241-0262.

(Download the PDF here.

If you're interested in attending a renewal workshop...

DACA Workshop Information

Don't forget...

(What to Bring to a DACA Workshop)

 

For Legal Help

Advancing Justice - LA’s hotlines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: family, immigration, consumer, public benefits, employment, housing, and civil rights.

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