Ana Alvarez, Controller, Immigrant Empowerment Foundation, Inc.

California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that allows unauthorized immigrants to buy health insurance under the U.S. Affordable Care Act, making the state the first in the country to offer that kind of coverage.

“Today we ask the federal government to remove another barrier to health insurance access that discriminates against some of our residents on the basis of their documentation status,” said Senator Ricardo Lara, the sponsor of the bill.

The Los Angeles Times reported that if the waiver is approved, it would allow as many as 390,000 immigrants to purchase healthcare insurance through the state’s exchange.

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