President Trump’s Healthcare Insurance Proclamation for New Immigrants is Temporarily Barred
Since October many of my clients have asked me about health insurance requirements for their immigration cases. Should they apply for state-funded insurance for which they are entitled? Should they delay an immigration application until they have health insurance? How can they get health insurance in the U.S. without a U.S. social security number? Right now, the answer is that health insurance is not a requirement and use of government funded programs for which someone is eligible is not a bar to lawful immigration. However, the situation is confusing and could change at any time.
A federal court has temporarily blocked the government from acting on President Trump’s most recent attempt to create a roadblock to legal immigration.
On October 4, 2019, the president issued a proclamation that ordered immigration officials to bar any immigrant who doesn’t have health insurance within 30 days of entry into the United States, or the ability to pay for foreseeable medical costs once they become permanent residents. Acceptable health insurance would include employer-sponsored plans and individual or short-term plans, but would not include Medicaid or Affordable Care Act subsidies. Seven U.S. citizens and lawyers from Justice Action Center, Innovation Law Lab, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association promptly filed suit in federal court, arguing that the president’s actions unconstitutionally rewrite current healthcare and immigration laws. The lawsuit claims that the policy could bar as many as 375,000 otherwise qualified legal immigrants each year as well as substantially reduce the number of immigrants who enter the U.S. with family-sponsored visas.
On November 26, Judge Michael H. Simon granted a nationwide preliminary injunction that prevents proclamation from taking effect while the lawsuit is pending.
If you or a loved one seeks to enter the United States and have questions about any healthcare insurance requirements, please contact me. I am an immigration attorney dedicated to helping families stay together and help make complicated procedures go as smoothly as possible.