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Lawsuit Filed Against Order Seeking to Block Visas for Immigrants Who Cannot Afford Health Care Insurance


In late October, the Trump administration was sued over its proposal to reject visa applications from immigrants who it determined do not have (and cannot obtain within 30 days of entry) “approved” health care insurance coverage. The proposal was slated to go into effect on November 3, but an injunction to block it was requested under the argument that the policy violates a number of immigration laws. Those who filed the lawsuit identified themselves as U.S. citizens sponsoring visas for family members abroad.

According to estimates, if it goes into effect, it could result in close to 400,000 immigrants being denied entry into the U.S. every year, or approximately two-thirds of all qualified visa applicants, simply because they lack “approved” healthcare coverage, and cannot demonstrate that they could secure it within one month of their arrival. Many of those most expected to be affected are people of color.

Impossible Standards & Rewriting The Law

There is no question that the order essentially seeks to rewrite immigration laws and impose a new requirement that Congress did not intend for those seeking to enter the country. In doing so, it makes it close-to-impossible for qualified immigrant visa applicants to meet the requirements to obtain entry. In addition, the “approved” programs that it lists include those that cannot be obtained by immigrants entering, such as Medicare, which requires that recipients have been living in the U.S. for at least five years. The requirements of what constitutes an “approved” program also go well beyond what the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires, and in doing so, arguably also violate the ACA and its proclamation to provide a certain minimum level of coverage to all legal immigrants and citizens in the U.S.

Similar Proposals Currently On Hold

The order is just one of several major policies to come out of the current administration that violates immigration laws and places significant obstacles in the ways of families legally qualified to come to the U.S. One of these previously announced and currently held up in court includes the “public charge” rule that attempts to bar individuals who apply for green cards and visas if they might end up using certain public benefit programs, such as food stamps.

Contact an Experienced North Carolina Immigration Attorney If You Need Help

Now more than ever, immigration issues are incredibly contentious and complex, and may very well depend upon policies that have not been adequately thought through and could even be illegal. Experienced North Carolina immigration attorney Rashad Hauter helps families when it comes to green cards, visas, citizenship and naturalization. Contact us today to find out more about our services.



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