California is home to the largest immigrant population in the United States. According to the 2006 American Community Survey, 9.9 million Californians are immigrants. The diversity of our state has been growing over many years. In 2000, California became a majority minority state where approximately 42 percent of the population was white, and the remainder a mix of Latino, Asian, African-American and other. By 2020, the California Budget Project estimates that Latino’s will be the largest racial population at 41 percent, and whites will constitute 37 percent of the population.

Community health centers are committed to serving the most medically vulnerable and hard to reach populations, which includes the immigrant population. Immigrants face unique barriers to accessing care including linguistic isolation, immigration status, and fear of government interactions. In 1996, these barriers were exacerbated with the passage of several federal legislative initiatives, including Title IV of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996; and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996. For example, welfare law now grants states discretion to preserve or deny non-emergency Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to most legal immigrants. California has maintained the same level of coverage for most immigrant groups.


CPCA  joined nearly 100 organizations on a National Immigration Law Center (NILC) led sign-on letter denouncing the anti-immigrant amendments we’re likely to see this week during the Senate’s consideration of the FY2016 Budget Resolution. To read the language of the letter, click here.



Covered California has partnered with national immigrant rights organizations to reassure consumers that all immigration information is safe, secure, and confidential. This is in response to consumers who were uncertain about applying for coverage because of immigration status or mixed-status families.



Policy Update


Alert -- USCIS Taking Back 3-year Work Permits from DACA Grantees

In order to comply with Judge Hanen’s order order in the Texas v. U.S. case, USCIS is taking back 3-year work permits from DACA recipients who received their work permits after February 16, 2015 (regardless of whether they received their DACA approval notice before or after this date).

USCIS has mailed a letter and called these people asking them to mail back their 3-year Employment Authorization Documents (EADs). They will be granted new EADs for a 2-year period. For more background and information click here.


Immigration Medical Examinations

In order to perform immigration medical examinations, you must be a physician designated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as a civil surgeon. Physicians must meet the following professional qualifications to be designated a civil surgeon:

  • Be a medical doctor (M.D.) or doctor of osteopathy (D.O.),
  • Be licensed in the state where medical services are rendered,
  • Have 4 years of professional experience, not including experience related to training (i.e. internships and residencies), and
  • Be authorized to work in the United States.

There are responsibilities and a process for applying to be a designated civil surgeon and they can be found here. Something else to note is that all state and local health departments have the authority to offer blanketed designation, provided that the physician meets the qualifications noted above. To find a list of civil surgeons in California or specifically by zip code, click here.



January 20, 2016


The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the immigration case challenging President Obama’s authority in the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) /DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) programs. In an order announced Tuesday morning (1/19/16) in United States v. Texas, the lawsuit initiated by Texas and other states, the Court granted the Department of Justice petition and is expected to hear the case in late April or early May. A decision would be issued by late June, when the Court’s 2015-16 term ends. Although a favorable decision would leave only seven months for the President to get the programs up and running, previous administration announcements signaled readiness to expand DACA and begin DAPA as soon as the administration prevails in court. The original DACA program, began in 2012 and continues. The expanded DACA and the new DAPA program were announced by President Obama in late 2014 and put on hold early last year as a result of the Texas lawsuit. As more information becomes available, particularly related to any advocacy efforts around the hearing, we will keep you posted.

September 30, 2013

CPCA is excited and looking forward to the next phase of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, where millions of Californians are expected to get coverage. However, many Californians will remain uninsured while others will be part of mixed status families, those who can get insurance will be treated while other family members will delay visiting the doctor due to lack of health insurance. CPCA has developed this FAQ to help farmworkers, immigrants and the undocumented through this new phase.


If you have any questions, or need additional information, please contact Aracely Navarro, Advocacy Coordinator at anavarro@cpca.org or 916.440.8170.

2017 Annual Sponsors