US will block immigrants unable to pay for healthcare, says Trump

Henrietta Strickland
October 7, 2019

"The Trump administration today launched two more shameless attacks on low-income people and immigrants, by proposing dramatic cuts to life-saving food stamps and seeking to prevent immigrants lacking access to health insurance - of which the administration works constantly to deprive them -from entering the country on immigrant visas", Javier Valdés, co-director of the immigrant advocacy group Make the Road New York, said in a statement.

President Trump signed a proclamation late Friday barring legal immigrants who can not prove they will have health care coverage or the means to pay for it within 30 days of their arrival to the United States.

In each year over the last decade, health providers have covered over $35 billion in expenses for uninsured patients, or about $7 million on average for every hospital in the U.S., the White House said.

"The entry into the United States as immigrants of aliens who will financially burden the United States healthcare system is hereby suspended and limited", Trump said, Vox reported.

Others observed that the move would likely be a windfall for insurance providers, potentially incentivizing thousands of migrants to purchase short-term "junk" plans in order to comply with the new rule.

While USPresident Donald Trump has cracked down on undocumented immigrants - with border arrests and his controversial wall - be has also sought to tighten the rules for legal immigration, making asylum more hard, for instance and denying poorer immigrants.

The new rule applies to people seeking immigrant visas from overseas - not those in the United States already.

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It comes as another administration policy targeting legal immigration - the public charge rule - is set to go into effect later this month.

He added that they should alternatively have their financial resources to pay for medical costs.

Exceptions to the rule include children of United States citizens, unaccompanied minors, permanent residents who are returning to the U.S. after being overseas less than a year, and "special immigrant visas" for Iraqi and Afghan nationals who worked for the USA government, and their families. "These policies are not stifling illegal immigration".

The proclamation, issued by the White House, said it would not affect any individual's eligibility for asylum or refugee status.

If Poland is designated as a Visa Waiver Program country, its nationals would be authorized for visa-free travel to the United States for business and tourism.

"Large numbers of non-citizens have taken advantage of our country's generous public health programs", Trump said in the proclamation.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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