November 20, 2014

WASHINGTON—Kathy Ko Chin, president and CEO of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum (APIAHF) issued the following statement following the announcement by President Obama that he will implement targeted immigration relief, protecting an estimated 5 million people from deportation.

“The President’s announcement is a much needed and welcomed step. Providing deportation relief is within his legal authority and is the fair and humane thing to do for millions of our immigrant community members who have been living in the U.S. and supporting our economy for decades. At the same time, we are in this positon because Congress has failed to act on comprehensive reform.

While administrative relief will undoubtedly change the lives of those impacted for the better, the President can, and must, do more. We are disappointed that, as millions of Americans shop for and enroll in the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) coverage options, some immigrants who legally live, work and pay taxes in this country are locked out of the Marketplace. When the administration granted young people relief under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, it later removed their ability to access affordable coverage. Secretary Burwell has noted this must be fixed and that we need an immigration system that includes access to health care. Yet the administration’s policy does the opposite and undermines the historic achievement of the ACA. This is a glaring inequity that President Obama should remedy today.”