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Immigrants Wary of Enrolling Kids

As the March 31 deadline for the Affordable Care Act looms, many undocumented immigrants are not registering their U.S. born children out of fear of deportation, USA Today reports.

Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for coverage, but worry they will give away damaging information if they sign up their children for health insurance. According to USA Today, 4.5 million U.S. citizens have at least one undocumented parent. In total there are 9 million undocumented immigrants living in mixed families.

Immigrants historically have lower rates of participation in government programs, and is behind President Obama’s appearance on Univision recently  to reassure undocumented immigrants that none of their information would be turned over to immigration services, according to USA Today. Many organizations also are holding workshops to alleviate fears.

The Caro Institute estimates that 59% of non-citizens who qualify for Medicaid and other programs are not enrolled.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.