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Immigration News

June 2, 2011, 8:31 pm
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Developments in immigration in Congress, DHS and the Courts
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by Reynold Mason, JD           

Rohrabacher Seeks to End Health Care Subsidies for Illegal Aliens

This month Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) reintroduced H.R. 1822, the “No Health Care Subsidies for Illegal Aliens Act,” to prevent illegal aliens from receiving health insurance subsidies under the new health care law.  By applying a documentation provision currently part of the Medicaid to the new health care law, the legislation would close verification loopholes in the 2010 health care reform law to ensure U.S. taxpayers are not footing the bill for illegal aliens’ health care. 

Under the bill, aliens must provide documents to support his or her claim. This requirement can be met in one of two ways;  the applicant must either present a U.S. passport, a Naturalization Certificate, a U.S. Citizenship Certificate, or a valid state-issued driver’s license if the state issuing the license requires proof of citizenship or nationality to obtain the license.

                  Napolitano Extends Temporary Protected Status for Haitians
Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano this month extended Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitian nationals living in the United States.    TPS is a provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) under which the U.S. government may grant aliens (legal or illegal) authority to remain living and working in the U.S. temporarily if “there exist extraordinary and temporary conditions in the foreign state that prevent aliens who are nationals of the state from returning to the state in safety.”   These conditions include earthquakes and other natural disasters resulting in a disruption of living conditions in the area.  When Secretary Napolitano originally granted TPS to Haitian nationals, she was clear that it was only to apply to Haitian individuals already residing in the U.S. at the time of the earthquake.  She reiterated that “those who attempt to travel to the United States after January 12, 2010 will not be eligible for TPS and will be repatriated.”  The designation was originally issued to last for 18 months, at which time Haitian aliens would be required to return to Haiti. 
Rather than just allowing for those who were in the U.S. at the time of the earthquake to remain, the Secretary re-designated Haiti as eligible for TPS, “meaning that eligible Haitian nationals who have continuously resided in the United States since Jan. 12, 2011, will also be able to obtain TPS through Jan. 22, 2013.”  (Id.) 
DHS reported that currently, approximately 48,000 Haitian nationals with TPS reside in the United States.  (DHS News Release, May 17, 2011)  This number also does not include the increase that will come with Napolitano’s latest announcement, as the re-designation does not take effect until July 23, 2011

Author: Reynold Mason
Reynold N. Mason teaches law courses at Zenover Educational Institute In Atlanta, Georgia. He has been a judge on New York City Civil Court and, a Justice on New York State Supreme Court. Mason has been an adjunct professor of law at Medgar Evers College and Monroe College in New York. He has authored several legal opinions published in New York Miscellaneous Reports and New York Official Reports as well as the New York Law Journal. He lives in Atlanta.
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