TheDream.US and the Presidents’ Alliance React to Rule Expanding ACA Eligibility for DACA Recipients

For Immediate Release: May 3, 2024
Contact: Michael Earls: 

TheDream.US and the Presidents’ Alliance React to Rule Expanding ACA Eligibility for DACA Recipients

Washington, DC Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a final rule to make Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients eligible for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The following are reaction statements from TheDream.US President and CEO Gaby Pacheco and TheDream.US alumna Indira Islas, along with Miriam Feldblum, Executive Director of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration

Gaby Pacheco, president and CEO of TheDream.US, stated, 

“Today’s announcement is a meaningful step forward to help DACA recipients more fully participate and give back to this nation. DACA remains one of the most popular and successful immigration policies in U.S. history and its recipients are increasingly homeowners, essential employees, and parents heading households all throughout America. Ensuring their access to healthcare coverage through the ACA will help thousands of families sleep a little easier at night – including TheDream.US alumni who have relied on DACA to work as doctors, nurses, and in other healthcare occupations.

Of course, at a time when the future of the DACA program itself remains uncertain due to legal challenges that have barred younger Dreamers from even applying into the program, we still need the same solution that is two decades in the making: Congress to work together to deliver permanent legal status for Dreamers with and without DACA. As we work toward that goal, we celebrate any steps forward that expands opportunities for Dreamers, such as today’s positive announcement.”

Indira Islas, a TheDream.US alumna and MPH graduate of George Washington University reacted to the new rule by stating: 

“I am proud to be part of a family of healthcare workers – my parents were doctors in Mexico, my sister is a nurse, and I am an aspiring doctor and have a graduate degree in public health. Providing opportunities and healthcare access to DACA recipients is good for families like mine and for the entire nation. The majority of Americans agree that Dreamers are Americans in all but their official paperwork and accessing healthcare shouldn’t be a barrier for any American. By eliminating this barrier to access the ACA marketplace, this rule will be a game-changer for over 100,000 DACA recipients. Our contributions as DACA recipients, including as fellow healthcare workers, have been well-documented. Today’s announcement is a good thing for us and for America.”

Miriam Feldblum, Executive Director of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, said:

“We applaud the rule expanding ACA eligibility access to DACA recipients. The Presidents’ Alliance had called on the current Administration to issue the regulation, which is much welcomed and will strengthen the nation. DACA recipients contribute billions of dollars in tax revenue annually, fill critical job shortages in our economy, are employed in essential jobs supporting our communities, and fuel our country with their talent and entrepreneurship.”


About TheDream.US

TheDream.US is the nation’s largest college and career success program for undocumented immigrant students, having provided more than 10,000 college scholarships to Dreamers attending over 80 partner colleges in 21 states and Washington, DC. We believe everyone, regardless of where they were born, should have equitable access to a college education, a meaningful career, and opportunities to contribute to the communities they call home. For more information on TheDream.US, visit

About the Presidents’ Alliance

The nonpartisan, nonprofit Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration brings college and university leaders and institutions together on the immigration issues that impact higher education, our students, campuses, communities and nation. As the only national organization exclusively focused on the intersection of higher education and immigration, we work to support immigrant, international, and refugee students and to advance forward-looking immigration policies and practices at the federal, state, and campus levels. The Alliance membership is composed of over 550 presidents and chancellors of public and private colleges and universities, enrolling over five million students in 42 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico.