DAPA Will Lift California’s Children Out of Poverty

DAPA Will Lift California’s Children Out of Poverty

A new study from the University of Southern California Dornsife’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration found that permitting undocumented adults to work in the United States legally would help boost their earnings enough to bring their households out of poverty.

Put another way, about 40,000 children would be lifted out of poverty in California if President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration are allowed to proceed. 40,000 children, and that’s just in California.

Obama’s program, the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans program, or DAPA, could benefit an estimated 4.1 million people through allowing the undocumented parents of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents to apply for work authorization and a temporary pardon from deportation.

“We know that one of the single largest factors impacting student learning and future economic performance is parent’s socioeconomic status,” the study reads. “For that reason, DAPA seems like the sort of anti-poverty and pro-child measure that should rally politicians from across the political spectrum.”

I completely agree. This shouldn’t be a party issue, but should instead unite the country, and especially our state. More undocumented immigrants live in California than any other state in the country, and about 1.6 million of them are children. That’s 17 percent of the total number of children in California. About 93 percent of the children who have parents eligible for DAPA are U.S. citizens, but their parents are not, and that presents a problem. Though these children are Americans, their parents are unable to obtain jobs that enable them to afford proper food, education, and other necessities. DAPA changes that, bringing eligible migrants into the formal job market where they would see an increase in wages, find more incentives for job training, and have an easier time finding jobs at all.

In Texas, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking the program’s implementation. Across the country, 26 states have sued to overturn the program, on the grounds that the executive actions are unconstitutional. California is, thankfully, not on this list. I sincerely hope Obama’s immigration reform is allowed to proceed, as it will help not only our state but also the entire nation. And with 1.6 million children who could benefit, and 40,000 who could be moved from poverty, how can we say no?

Affordable Care Act Boosts Access for Latino Community

Affordable Care Act Boosts Access for Latino Community

Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, many Latino families have seen improved access to and quality of healthcare. Many families who didn’t have insurance before the Affordable Care Act are now covered, and many of those who already had insurance now have better coverage. In addition, the healthcare law addresses disparities in access to affordable and quality health coverage.

Latinos suffer certain illnesses at higher rates than non-Hispanic white Americans. For example, about 31.9 percent of Latinos were obese in 2010, compared to 26.1 percent of non-Hispanic whites. This puts them at higher rates of risk for diabetes, heart disease, and other illnesses associated with obesity.

More Latinos contract colorectal cancer than non-white Hispanics, but this, like many disease statistics, is due to insurance issues. In 2010, only 46.5 percent of Latinos received a colorectal cancer screening, compared to 59.9 percent of non-Hispanic whites. It’s hard to receive screenings when you don’t have insurance to pay for it, and about 1 in 4 uninsured Americans are Latino.

Now, with the Affordable Care Act, millions of these uninsured people are benefiting from stronger coverage, or coverage at all, making it possible to catch and stop disease faster, and to engage in preventative measures.

Today, 8.8 million Latinos with private insurance have access to preventative services like Pap smears, mammograms, colonoscopy screening, child visits, and flu shots. In addition, all private plans in the healthcare marketplace cover prescription drugs, preventative services, mental health services, substance use disorder services, maternity care, newborn care, and more.

Under the Affordable Care Act, more than 278,000 Latinos will gain maternity coverage, and about 5 million Latina women will have guaranteed access to women’s preventative services without cost sharing.

Because of the $11 billion in the Affordable Care Act allotted to nearly 1,300 health centers, the number of patients served has increased to 5 million, and one in three of those patients is Latino.

The Affordable Care Act is changing healthcare in America, and promoting equality through access to services previously reserved for those with expensive coverage.