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  • Illegal immigrants cannot buy healthcare under Obamacare
  • The federal government does verify your legal status before you benefit from Obamacare
  • Some clinics will still take care of illegal immigrants


Illegal immigration is one of the most contentious issues in our current time. There is a great deal of controversy when it comes to defining illegal immigration, how to solve the problem, and what should be done with illegal immigrants. Many people disagree on these points and others that are related to the issue of illegal immigration.

In either case, it is apparent that no matter what your position on illegal immigration is, you want to strongly defend it and make your case for why your position is correct. One question that comes up when discussing illegal immigration is how to approach their access to healthcare.

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What is immigration?


Before we go into what constitutes illegal immigration and illegal immigrants, it is important to accurately define immigration. Immigration is the movement of people from one country to another, specifically to a country where someone is not already a citizen.

Whether or not one’s immigration to a certain country depends entirely on that country’s laws. In most cases, it can be quite difficult to find out exactly what illegal immigration means. Consulting the immigration law of the country you intend to enter is probably the best way to figure that out.

Illegal Immigration

The precise definition of illegal immigration is somewhat ambiguous. It can vary from country to country. In a general sense, however, illegal immigration is entering a country in violation of that country’s immigration laws, whatever those are.

Some nations have far stricter laws on immigration than others and what constitutes as illegal immigration in one country might pass as legal immigration in another.

In any case, illegal immigration is an issue that many countries struggle with even as the immigration laws change and adapt to the modern world.

Illegal Immigration in the United States


Illegal immigration in the United States continues to be one of the most divisive topics in the country. It is an integral part of domestic party disagreement between politicians, political parties, and citizens who participate in the democratic process. In the United States, illegal immigration is most often discussed in context of illegal immigrants from Mexico, Central America, and South America.

However, there are many illegal immigrants who come to the United States from elsewhere. These places include Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Varieties of Illegal Immigrants

Just as there is a variety of immigration laws depending on which country you are discussing, there is also a great deal of variety when it comes to illegal immigrants themselves.

Some portion of illegal immigrants got into the country illegally and continued living there as long as they were able. This is just one segment of the illegal immigrant population, though.

Other illegal immigrants entered the country legally, like through a visa program. However, they violated the country’s laws by overstaying their visa and remaining in the country.

Entering the United States Illegally Through Canada


One more area in which there is plenty of contrast is how an illegal immigrant enters the country. In the United States, one method many use is going to Canada and crossing the northern border into the United States. This method is often less risky than crossing the southern border due to lessened security, which is outlined by “Going Through Canada”, an excellent article on this topic.

This is simply one method of entering the United States illegally. There are plenty of other methods of doing so, which will be the focus of our next few sections.

Illegal Immigration Through South America

Although it is second to Mexico, there are some illegal immigrants who enter the United States through South America. South America is often considered an area of economic turmoil and many immigrants come to the United States for greater financial stability.

However, illegal immigrants who come from South America are not always fleeing economic uncertainty. Often, they desire to come to the United States to escape ethnic tension or gang violence. Such violence has increased in recent years and brought more South American immigrants to the US.

Illegal Immigration Through Mexico


This is the area many focus on when discussing the issue of illegal immigration in the United States. Many illegal immigrants do come from Mexico. However, the number of illegal immigrants from Mexico has fallen by roughly 1 million from the figure in 2007.

However, this does not mean that there are fewer illegal immigrants from Mexico currently in the United States. According to recent figures, approximately fifty-two percent of illegal immigrants currently in the United States came from the country of Mexico. They are certainly not the only source of illegal immigration, but they are a major source.

Illegal Immigrants and Healthcare before Obamacare


Healthcare and illegal immigrants have always been an issue that many people discuss. Prior to the implementation of Obamacare, illegal immigrants had very little options when it came to healthcare. Often, they simply went to local healthcare clinics.

Non-profit organizations are one of the only ways that illegal immigrants could get healthcare before Obamacare. This did not really change so much even after the implementation of Obamacare.

Illegal Immigrants and Obamacare

Despite some claims that illegal immigrants are benefiting from Obamacare, this is not truly the case. Medical care for illegal immigrants is not allowed under the Affordable Care Act. The individual mandate also does not apply to anyone who is not a legal citizen of the United States.

There are some facilities that offer medical care to undocumented immigrants, however, illegal immigrants cannot benefit from Obamacare’s tax benefits, the health insurance marketplace, or any other portion of the legislation. The law excludes them from benefiting due to the legislation.

Verification of Immigrant Status under Obamacare

As stated previously, illegal immigrants are not allowed to enjoy any of the benefits provided by the Affordable Care Act. The federal government acquires documents to ensure that all citizens receiving those benefits are legal residents or citizens of the United States. One of the documents that may be required is a permanent resident card, often called a green card.

Additionally, a reentry permit and/or an employee authorization card may be requested. A cancellation of removal document could also verify that you are not considered an illegal immigrant under the current immigration laws.

An Overview


Immigration and healthcare are both very complex areas with many regulations and laws concerning both. Often, the two may be interconnected and become yet more complex. However, as to the question of illegal immigrants buying healthcare due to the Affordable Care Act, the answer is not quite so complicated.

Essentially, the answer is no. Illegal immigrants are not given any ability to purchase health insurance by the Affordable Care Act. Only legal citizens can purchase health insurance due to the legislation and the government does verify legal citizen status to keep illegal immigrants from benefiting from the law.

Immigrants cannot legally purchase health insurance in the United States. However, citizens are required by law to have active health insurance according to the Individual Mandate. Failure to comply will result in a tax penalty. If you need coverage, enter your zip code below and compare free quotes today! enter your zip code below and compare free quotes today!

[su_spoiler title=”References:” icon=”caret-square” style=”fancy” open=”yes”]

  1. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/immigrate
  2. https://www.usimmigrationsupport.org/illegal-immigration.html
  3. https://www.usimmigration.com/illegal-immigrants-through-canada.html
  4. http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/south-american-immigrants-united-states/
  5. http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/03/02/what-we-know-about-illegal-immigration-from-mexico/
  6. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/28/undocumented-immigrants-health-care_n_4679348.html
  7. https://www.thoughtco.com/does-obamacare-cover-illegal-immigrants-3367966
  8. http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-immigrants/