Whatever eventually comes out of the immigration reform measures that are being proposed at the federal level, advocates in California are pushing for more and better health care benefits to be provided for immigrants in our state. Such a change is being pushed by non-profit health care providers, leaders at county levels, labor unions and other supporters of immigration rights.
As immigrants play such an important role in California's economy, many leaders believe it's essential to all of us to provide health care benefits to these individuals. There are 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States that are not receiving health care benefits, and many are living in California. Also, another 12 million individuals living in California are already uninsured - with or without immigration status.
There are reasons why providing immigrants with more benefits are receiving popular support. It is now widely believed that any health care reform measures that do not take into account immigrants will ultimately fail. Many immigrants that become sick or injured because of lack of medical care will be unable to pay any hospital bills to begin with.
Since so much is going on both in California and in Washington, D.C., immigration attorneys will certainly make every effort to keep up with the laws that will affect their clients. These attorneys will do what is necessary to provide advice and counsel immigrants concerning their legal options. Very few individuals totally understand immigration laws as these already exist, and we can expect that the laws will become more complex over time.
Source: Think Progress, "California Pushes To Expand Millions of Immigrants' Access to Health Care," by Tara Culp Ressler, June 24, 2013