Does Obamacare give businesses a $3,000 incentive to hire illegal immigrants?

President Barack Obama announces his new policy on deportation of undocumented immigrants in a prime-time address from the White House on Nov. 20, 2014.
President Barack Obama announces his new policy on deportation of undocumented immigrants in a prime-time address from the White House on Nov. 20, 2014.

In all the attacks against President Barack Obama’s executive action on illegal immigration, there’s another policy that got caught in the fallout: Obamacare. Critics say the two policies together have created a $3,000 incentive to hire illegal immigrants.

Because of a loophole in the 2010 health care law, employers have the incentive to hire illegal immigrants who obtain a work permit under Obama’s recent executive action, rather than American citizens, according to a Nov. 25 article in the Washington Times that has since made rounds on the conservative blogosphere and on Fox News. An article on failed Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s website said this loophole could affect "millions."

The claim isn’t so much inaccurate as it is speculative. Research indicates that indeed some businesses could, in theory, save $3,000 per employee for hiring an illegal immigrant over an American citizen. However -- and this is a big ol' however -- this would only work for a small subset of businesses, and these businesses would have to have a particular setup that experts told us is impractical and unlikely.

Read PolitiFact's long look into this here.