Federal Judge Blocks Trump's Health Insurance Requirements For Immigrants Seeking Visas

11/05/2019 04:00 | 2

Federal Judge Blocks Trump's Health Insurance Requirements For Immigrants Seeking Visas

The Trump administration has argued that legal immigrants were about three times more likely to lack health insurance than U.S. citizens, and that taxpayers should not bear their medical costs.

Oregon District Judge Michael Simon has approved a temporary restraining order that will delay the administration from enacting a new rule that immigrants must prove they either have health insurance or the financial means to cover health care expenses as part of the visa application process.

Seven U.S. citizens and a nonprofit group filed the federal lawsuit Wednesday contending the rule would block almost two-thirds of all prospective legal immigrants.

"However, it would apply to the spouses and parents of US citizens and the immediate family members of lawful permanent residents", NPR reported last month.

Justice Action Center senior litigator Esther Sung told WQAD News 8 "The ban would separate families and cut two-thirds of green-card-based immigration starting tonight, were the ban not stopped".

Affected would have been immigrants applying for visas, including spouses and parents of USA citizens as well as the immediate family members of lawful permanent residents.

The rule applied to individuals applying for immigrant visa from overseas - those applying from within the U.S. were exempt.

The rule, which was set to go into effect at Sunday at 12:01 a.m., was an attempt by the Trump administration to reduce the number of low-income immigrants staying in the country.

The policy is part of Mr Trump's effort to shift the U.S. away from a family-focused immigration system. Unlike the president, these judges controlling our immigration policies from the bench are not accountable to the American people.

Accepted health insurance includes employer-sponsored and family coverage plans, unsubsidized individual health plans, and short-term plans. "Today's decision highlights the urgency of blocking this health care ban before it causes irreparable damage to our community and those we serve". The federal government pays for those subsidies.

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The uninsured rate for immigrants dropped from 32 percent to 20 percent from 2013 to 2017, since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, according to Migration Policy.

Each year about 1.1 million people obtain green cards, which allow foreigners to legally live and work in the United States.


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