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Medi-Cal Expanded for Older Undocumented Immigrants

Plus: Texas orders National Guard to help with border arrests, Border Patrol considers closing interior checkpoints

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill on Tuesday that would allow Californians who are 50 and older, without legal status, to be eligible for state health care coverage. These low-income individuals will be eligible after May 1, 2022 and will benefit about 235,000 residents. Newsom said the bill was a step toward universal healthcare in California. The state’s Medi-Cal used to only cover young immigrants under the age of 18. But eventually California followed the Affordable Care Act and expanded the age cutoff to 26. So far, eligible undocumented immigrants would only be covered for emergency room and pregnancy-related care under Medi-Cal. Los Angeles Times 

Texas Gov. Calls for National Guard to Help with Border Arrests

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has ordered the National Guard to help law enforcement arrest migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. He said in a letter to Major Gen. Tracy R. Norris of the Texas Military Department, “To respond to this disaster and secure the rule of law at our southern border, more manpower is needed — in addition to the troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety and soldiers from the Texas National Guard I have already deployed there — and DPS needs help in arresting those who are violating state law.” Some local officials claim the increase of migrants has stripped their scarce resources and that drug and human smugglers have overwhelmed the state’s law enforcement agencies. The Texas Tribune 

Border Patrol Might Shut Down Checkpoints

Close to 14,000 migrants were in U.S. Border Patrol facilities across the U.S.-Mexico border on Monday. Border Patrol agents are thinking about taking action to reduce these high numbers of migrants in their facilities, including by closing checkpoints that are meant to curb illegal immigration in the southern U.S. Border Patrol is also under pressure to release migrants from their overflowing facilities within the 72-hour mandate, leading the agency to release hundreds of them to local communities. A respite center in McAllen where many released migrants end up became over capacity the same day and couldn’t accept additional migrants. My RGV News 

Runner Hesitated Going to Olympics Because of His DACA Status

Luis Grijalva spent the last few weeks petitioning the U.S. government to let him attend the Olympic Games in Tokyo. He’s a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipient from Guatemala, which meant that if he left the U.S., he couldn’t return. Grijalva and his lawyers asked the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to let him leave the country to compete for Guatemala in the Olympic Games. The agency can grant recipients permission to travel if they give a good reason related to education, employment or a humanitarian cause. After waiting in the Phoenix office for hours on Monday, the agency granted him permission to participate. The New York Times 

Bringing Imagination to Immigrant Communities in Minneapolis

Chanida Phaengdara Potter, an executive director of the Southeast Asian Diaspora Project in Minneapolis, is a mother of two and has Laotian and Vietnamese roots. Ten years ago, the storyteller and writer worked in the human rights field, where she realized that people in her office who were working in communities of people that looked like her didn’t represent where she was from. Phaengdara Potter became a refugee from Laos at 3 years old, and realized that she needed to work at a grassroots level with refugee and immigrant communities. So she started the SEAD Project, which utilizes art, storytelling and other forms to help communities understand issues that affect them. Sahan Journal

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