Federal judge denies Trump’s push to block immigration visas without proof of health insurance

Proof of health insurance - Lady Justice

Judge Michael Simon in Oregon ruled against the administration’s demand for coverage confirmation.

A federal judge in Oregon has ruled against the Trump administration’s requirement for legal immigrants to show proof of health insurance in order to receive a State Department visa.

The judge determined that the requirement would conflict with the Immigration and Nationality Act.

According to Judge Michael Simon’s ruling, “the President’s Proclamation requiring legal immigrants to show proof of health insurance before being issued a visa by the State Department is inconsistent with the INA.”

This is not the first time that Judge Simon has stepped into the way of the implementation of this requirement. The judge previously placed a temporary bar on the administration’s effort to demand proof of health insurance in this situation. Now, Simon has granted a countrywide preliminary injunction pending the case’s resolution.

The new policy would require visa applicants to provide proof of health insurance within 30 days of entry.

This rule would mean that all visa applicants would be required to prove that they had health insurance coverage inside a month of their entry into the United States. Alternately, they would be required to “pay for reasonably foreseeable medical costs,” if they could not prove that they had a health plan. This presents a substantial barrier to some immigrants, particularly among those whose wealth is limited.

Among the types of health plan considered to be acceptable under the Trump administration’s policy include unsubsidized individual health plans, employer-sponsored and family coverage plans, and short-term plans. However, coverage subsidized under the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid would not be made available and would not count.

Judge Simon issued the recent ruling in a lawsuit a number of U.S. citizens filed with representation from Esther Sung, a senior litigator at the Justice Action Center. They argued that the Trump administration’s policy requiring proof of health insurance would lead to a new form of “family separation.” They asserted that by banning hundreds of Proof of health insurance - Lady Justicethousands of immigrants to the U.S. for the reason of a lack of coverage, the outcome would be the separation of families immigrating through family-sponsored visas.

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