The hosts of Fox & Friends on Wednesday expressed outrage that undocumented immigrants would not be threatened with deportation just for purchasing health care for any children who are United States citizens.
While speaking with the Spanish-language sports radio show Univision Deportes on Tuesday, President Barack Obama assured parents that they could buy insurance for their children without repercussions from “the immigration people."
“Well, the main thing for people to know is that any information you get, you know, asked with respect to buying insurance, does not have anything to do with … the rules governing immigration," the president explained. “And you know, you can qualify if you’re a legal resident, if you are … legally present in the United States.
“You know, if you have a family where some people are citizens or legally here, and others are not documented, the immigration people will never get that information," he added.
Fox News host Elisabeth Hasselbeck announced the next morning that Obama's comments had left people "kind of shocked."
"He takes any format at any moment -- whether it's on Funny or Die on the Internet, whether it's on a sports program for Spanish-speaking people -- to push Obamacare," co-host Brian Kilmeade complained. "And with a wink and a nod to say, it's okay if you're illegal, I'm not coming after you!"
Co-host Steve Doocy observed that "Health and Human Services, they won't notify the authorities that uncle Sam is in the country illegally."
"But there are other federal agencies, where if they find out something, you know, they share it with other agencies," Doocy said. "The IRS finds out that you've been doing something illegally, they'll tell the DOJ. Department of Homeland Security, they'll call the DOJ, they'll call everybody."
"So, for this particular agency to sit on their hands when they know something -- a law is being broken -- that does seem extraordinary," he opined.
"Particularly when it does, in fact, web to the IRS," Hasselbeck agreed. "So, this is all linked in terms of information and finances as it relates to health care. So, to make this broad promise, I would think it would actually concern those in this situation because it is not the law."
Media Matters pointed out on Wednesday that the policy that the president outlined was clearly spelled out in the Affordable Care Act regulations, and "government agencies are only required to report undocumented immigrants in relation to three federal programs - Social Security, public housing, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families -- and only if the individuals' immigration status is known."