State’s hispanic leaders mixed in response to immigration order

Missouri’s hispanic business and civic leaders expressed mixed reactions to the executive order announced Thursday by President Barack Obama that could offer protection from deportation for up to 5 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.

Karlos Ramirez, executive director of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis, said Obama’s move makes economic sense and would allow immigrants who know they don’t face deportation to begin paying taxes, starting businesses, getting drivers licenses and purchasing insurance.

However, some concerns centered around immigrants’ eligibility for health care coverage. Jorge Riopedre, the executive director of Casa de Salud, a nonprofit St. Louis health clinic, said the president’s order doesn’t go far enough and that immigrants would benefit from subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

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