Federal judge blocks Trump administration rule that immigrants must have health insurance
© WikiMedia (White House)
Federal judge blocks Trump administration rule that immigrants must have health insurance

A federal on Saturday issued a temporary restraining order keeping the Trump administration from enforcing Presidential Proclamation No. 9945—preventing the immigration of those who will burden the health care system. The proclamation was set to become effective on Monday.

The new rule would require consular officers to ask visa applicants if they will be covered by health insurance within 30 days of being in the US and to provide details and paperwork as proof. Those who cannot make the showing would be permanently barred from entering the US, even if they satisfy all other requirements set out in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The proclamation lists eight acceptable types of health insurance but many are not viable for immigrants and those that are available to immigrants are less regulated and are not required to provide “essential health benefits” like hospitalization.

The court noted that relying on health care status as the sole factor to refuse admission to the US conflicts with § 1182 of the INA. Congress has already spoken as to what it takes to become a “financial burden” to the US and did not outline healthcare coverage as a permissible factor. Additionally, the statute precludes any one factor from being considered dispositive.