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Expansion of Health Insurance in California Unlikely to Act as Magnet for Undocumented Immigration

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Publication Date: July 2007

Publisher(s): UCLA Center for Health Policy Research

Author(s): Steven P. Wallace; Joshua S. Yang

Topic: Health (Health care financing)
Health (Health services for non-citizens)

Keywords: California; health insurance; immigration

Coverage: California


New expansions of health insurance in California are unlikely to attract additional undocumented immigrants to the state, according to a new policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. The brief notes that both legal and undocumented immigrants are primarily motivated to come to the state by employment opportunities and family reunification.
This policy brief reviews research studies on undocumented immigration and public benefits, with specific attention to health insurance benefits. Because so few studies examine the migration of undocumented immigrants for health benefits, the authors also review two directly related areas of inquiry: 1) the relationship between public benefits offered by a state and the destination choice of legal immigrants to the United States; and 2) the migration of low-income citizens across state lines in response to public benefits offered by states.


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