A Judge Suspends a Trump Rule That Denies Migrant Visas Without The Possibility Of Having Medical Coverage

A federal judge from Portland, Oregon, on Saturday suspended a rule from the administration of President Donald Trump, which requires that some categories of immigrants prove that they will have health insurance or that health care can be paid before they are granted visas to settle in the US

Michael Simon, federal district judge, issued a temporary restraining order for this measure, which should have come into effect this Sunday. It is still unclear when the magistrate will rule on the merits of the case.

Seven US citizens and a nonprofit organization filed a federal lawsuit last Wednesday in which they claimed that this rule would be an obstacle for two-thirds of immigrants with the possibility of achieving legal status in the country.

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The lawsuit also maintained that the rule would greatly reduce or eliminate the number of immigrants entering the US with visas granted on the basis of family relations with citizens of the country.

The rule, signed by President Trump in early October, applies to people seeking immigrant visas from abroad, not those already in the US. It does not affect permanent legal residents and does not apply to asylum seekers, refugees or children.

The measure establishes that immigrants will not be able to enter the country unless they show that they will be covered by health insurance before 30 days after entering national territory or that they have sufficient financial resources to pay for medical costs.

"We are very grateful that the court has recognized the need to immediately block [this rule]," said Esther Sung, a lawyer for the Justice Action Center, who argued at Saturday's hearing on behalf of the plaintiffs.

The rule suspended this Saturday represents one of the Trump administration's most recent efforts to limit immigrants' access to public health programs, with the goal of moving the country away from a family-based migration model to one based on merit. .

At the time the new measure was announced, the White House maintained in a statement that too many people without citizenship were taking advantage of the "generous public health programs" in the US, and said immigrants contribute to the problem of "costs of uncompensated medical care. "

Under the government rule, the required insurance can be purchased individually or provided by an employer and can guarantee short-term or catastrophic coverage.

The Medicaid program does not count, and an immigrant cannot obtain a visa if they use the subsidies of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, provided by the federal government, to take out insurance.

According to the Migration Policy Institute, a group of nonpartisan immigration experts, 57% of U.S. immigrants had private medical insurance in 2017, compared with 69% of those born in the US. 30% had public health insurance coverage, compared with 36% of natives.

The rate of uninsured people for immigrants fell from 32% to 20% between 2013 and 2017, since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, in accordance with the Migration Policy.

Every year, about 1.1 million people get green cards

"Today several thousand people across the country can breathe a sigh of relief because the court recognized the urgent and irreparable damage that would have been inflicted [if the new Trump Administration rule had not been slowed down], said Jesse Bless, director of Federal litigation in the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

“This rule would permanently separate families and harm employers. It is a clear violation of the Constitution. The president simply has no authority to rewrite the law by proclamation, "he added in statements collected by BuzzFeed.

Earlier this year, the Trump administration made radical changes to the green card concession regulations to limit those granted to immigrants with some form of public assistance, but the courts have slowed that measure.

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Trump will deny visas to migrants who cannot afford "approved health insurance"

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