President's proclamation will restrict visas to uninsured applic

President's proclamation will restrict visas to uninsured applicants

Posted: Updated:
LUBBOCK, Texas -

The Trump Administration will soon deny visas to immigrants who cannot prove they have healthcare coverage. 

It is intended to ease the tax burden on Americans, according to the White House.

The President's proclamation requires immigrants applying for visas to prove they can afford healthcare. They will be denied entry unless they plan to have coverage within 30 days of entering the country.

Earlier this year, the administration issued a "public charge rule," which would allow the denial of immigrants deemed likely to rely on government aid. 

"The Trump Administration is very concerned with the public charge ground of inadmissibility. When people seek to enter the United States, they have to be admissible, in addition to fitting into a statutory pigeon hole, they have to be admissible," David Strange, an immigration attorney, said.

One way the government could use that rule is if the person is likely to become dependent on public aid, Strange said.

"So now we're going to have this new requirement in place, that whenever you come into the United States, with some exceptions...you have to demonstrate either that you have health insurance or you have the ability to obtain health insurance," Strange said.

According to the White House, the new requirement only applies to those applying for visas abroad. 

Strange said the administration also proposed new forms, asking immigrants to detail their finanical history, including any debt they have, income, or if they have ever sought public assistance. That has been enjoined by a federal court in New York, which ruled it unfairly targets poor people.

Strange said in some ways, the requirement is an overreach.

"It does kind of create this wealth hierarchy of who can immigrate to the United States and who can't," Strange said. "Although, Congress already has in place a public charge ground of inadmissibility, which is to say, very general terms, we don't want people to immigrate to the United States and then be living on the streets."

Strange said there is no easy solution, but said it is important to reach a middle ground on immigration policy. The healthcare requirement is set to take effect Nov. 3.

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