President Obama on Tuesday urged Hispanics to enroll in the Affordable Care Act, promising that their private information will not be used by "the immigration people” to track down family members who are in the country illegally.
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 6: US President Barack Obama (R) participates in a town hall event on affordable health insurance, with moderator Jose Diaz Balart (C) and television host Enrique Acevedo (L), at the Newseum on March 6, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Obama discussed how the Affordable Care Act, also known as 'Obamacare', affects Latinos (Getty Images)
The president said during an interview with Univision Deportes that federal agents will not have access to the information provided by consumers who sign up for health care through the new exchanges.
“Well, the main thing for people to know is that any information you get, you know, asked with respect to buying insurance, does not have anything to do with...the rules governing immigration,” Obama said.
“And you know, you can qualify if you’re a legal resident, if you are...legally present in the United States. You know, if you have a family where some people are citizens or legally here, and others are not documented, the immigration people will never get that information," he said.
Hispanics have been slow to enroll in Obamacare, The Hill reported, suggesting that fear of capture and deportation in mixed-status households has kept many from enrolling.
“You know, you will qualify, you know, regardless of what your family’s status is,” Obama said. “So, you know, people should not hold back just because they’re in a mixed-family status.”
Hispanics have the highest rate of uninsured in any ethnic group in the U.S., the White House said, adding that there are approximately 10.2 million uninsured Hispanics eligible for coverage under Obamacare.
The Hill notes that the White House has put a special emphasis on getting Hispanics to enroll as the March 31 open enrollment deadline approaches.
The Obama administration has employed programs such as the Latino Enrollment Week of Action and worked closely with Spanish-language media to encourage more Obamacare signups.
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