Federal judge blocks Trump order barring immigrants without health insurance

Immigration Health Insurance

Federal judge blocks Trump's health insurance rule for immigrants seeking visas

The federal lawsuit was filed in Portland, Oregon, and claims the healthcare requirement prevents foreign family members of Americans from moving to the United States to be with their families.

US President Donald Trump holds up a chart about US immigration "catch and release" policies at the US southern border during a formal signing ceremony for a trade agreement at the White House in Washington, Oct. 7, 2019.

The lawsuit said the number of immigrants who enter the USA with family-sponsored visas would drop considerably, or be eliminated altogether.

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

A civil rights advocacy group in Portland in the USA state of Oregon Sunday hailed a court order that temporarily blocked the Trump administration from enforcing a new policy against immigrants over healthcare issues. The rule does not apply to refugees, children, asylum seekers or those who are lawful permanent residents already.

Under the rule, an immigrant can not get a visa if they are covered by subsidies from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as those are paid for by the federal government.

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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The proclamation says immigrants will be barred from entering the country unless they are to be covered by health insurance within 30 days of entering or have enough financial resources to pay for any medical costs. However, it would apply to parents and spouses of US citizens, the White House said.

"[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", she said.

Stephen Manning, executive director of the Innovation Law Lab, said late Saturday the administration's goal was to end the United States' long-standing family-based immigration system, something Trump has criticized.

Probable immigrants have been trying to determine how to get the insurance they need.

According to the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute, 57 percent of USA immigrants had private health insurance in 2017 compared to 69 percent of US -born citizens who had private health coverage, and 30 percent of immigrants had public health insurance versus 36 percent of native-born people.

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.

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