Judge blocks Trump rule requiring prospective immigrants have health insurance

Grant Boone
November 5, 2019

But Judge Simon's 18-page ruling seemed to leave the administration with limited room to craft a dissent.

Saturday's decision came in response to a lawsuit filed by seven USA citizens and an advocacy organization, arguing it "rewrites our immigration and healthcare laws by Presidential fiat". They said the policy would inflict irreparable harm on the plaintiffs, who are USA citizens sponsoring visas for family members overseas.

Esther Sung, a senior litigator at the Justice Action Center and one of the attorneys who represented the plaintiffs at Saturday's hearing, told reporters after the ruling that "we're very grateful that the court recognized the need to block the health care ban immediately". "The ban would separate families and cut two-thirds of green-card-based immigration starting tonight, were the ban not stopped".

The order, which was to go into effect on Monday. would have mostly impacted poor immigrants coming in joining relatives already in the United States, something the President Donald Trump has routinely derided as "chain migration".

This policy is part of Mr. Trump's efforts to move the United States out of the family-centred immigration system.

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"[This is] a matter where Congress expressly gave the president authority", White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press. "Today's decision highlights the urgency of blocking this health care ban before it causes irreparable damage to our community and those we serve".

Under the rule, insurance can be short-term coverage or catastrophic, and it can be purchased individually or provided by an employer. The federal government pays for those subsidies.

The Trump administration contended in its proclamation that immigrants are "about three times more likely" than USA citizens to be uninsured and said they "should not further saddle our health care system, and subsequently American taxpayers, with higher costs". If you don't get the confirmation within 10 minutes, please check your spam folder.

Since the Affordable Care Act was implemented in 2010, the rate of uninsured immigrants dropped from 32% to 20% between the years 2013 and 2017 according to the institute. Visas are also known as green cards and officially as Permanent Resident Cards.

Earlier this year, the administration made sweeping changes to regulations that would deny green cards to immigrants who use some forms of public assistance, but the courts have blocked that measure.

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