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Trump declares immigrants must get health insurance

On Behalf of | Oct 10, 2019 | Immigration |

Tennessee readers might be interested to learn that President Donald Trump signed a proclamation on Oct. 4 requiring people immigrating to the U.S. to acquire health insurance. The document states that immigrants should no longer be allowed to “saddle” the U.S. healthcare system.

According to the new rule, which takes effect on Nov. 3, immigrants applying for an entry visa must either prove they have health coverage within 30 days of arriving in the U.S. or prove they have enough money to pay for “reasonably foreseeable” medical care. For now, no set income threshold has been announced, but the government might establish one in the future. Until then, it will be up to the consular officer to judge if an applicant meets the requirements. The rule will apply to all immigrants except asylum seekers, unaccompanied minors, refugees, Iraqis and Afghans applying for Special Immigration Visas and individuals issued visas before Nov. 3.

Critics of the proclamation say it’s cruel to demand that immigrants purchase insurance when the U.S. fails to provide guaranteed health care to its own citizens. The proclamation is just the latest immigration restriction enacted by the Trump administration. In August, Trump announced that immigration officials could now deny green cards to immigrants who are likely to receive Medicaid, housing vouchers, food stamps or other public benefits.

Immigrants who wish to obtain a visa to enter the U.S. might benefit from working with an immigration attorney. The attorney may help a client navigate America’s complex immigration laws and prepare a visa application. Legal counsel may also provide essential advice throughout the application process and represent an immigrant’s interests at all immigration hearings. Immigrants may learn more about the pathways to U.S. citizenship by contacting an attorney familiar with immigration law.