Guest Blog Update: DACA + Health Care in California

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The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program is once again in the news because of a recent court ruling.

DACA was created in 2012 to protect young immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors – also known as “Dreamers” – and consider this country their home. Under the program, immigrant youth who meet certain requirements are protected against deportation and can access some legal rights.

I am one of the few that were lucky enough to be granted DACA status back in 2012. DACA has changed my life, allowing me to pursue my education and a career in public health over the past nine years. DACA continues to be challenged in the courts and its future, along with the future of thousands of other Dreamers like myself, continue to be uncertain. 

What’s the Status Update?

In July, a Federal Court ruled that DACA is not a legal program. This is the first time that a court has ruled that DACA is illegal. The Biden Administration is appealing the decision. President Biden is also urging Congress to pass a bill that will protect DACA youth moving forward.

What DACA Recipients Need to Know

  1. DACA still exists and you can use your benefits
  2. You can still submit a renewal application
  3. First-time DACA applications are not accepted at this time

The DACA court ruling is heartbreaking to many, especially those who were getting ready to apply for the first time or for those from mixed status families. However, it has also revealed that the fight is not over yet. Immigration advocates continue to fight in court and advocate for congress to pass a permanent solution for undocumented young people in California and across the country. Learn more about the bill.

Your Health Care Rights – Regardless of Immigration Status or Age

If you are a DACA recipient living in California, you have the right to access health care services. 

Here are some things to know:

  • Medi-Cal: Low-income young people up to the age of 26 in California can sign up for Medi-Cal, regardless of immigration status. Medi-Cal covers all health services, including birth control, abortion care, sexually transmitted infection testing + treatment, and cervical + breast cancer screenings. Find a clinic near you.
  • Family PACT: Teens and adults can get confidential, free sexual and reproductive health services through the Family PACT program at any of these clinics regardless of immigration status.
  • No matter what your immigration status is, teens under the age of 18 don’t need parent or guardian permission to get birth control, abortion care, HPV vaccine, STD testing or mental health services. Learn more about your health care and sexual health rights at

Resources for DACA Youth

If you are or know a DACA recipient, check out these helpful resources: