A coalition of immigration advocacy groups and legal organizations have started a legal challenge against a recent attempt by President Trump to reject visas to immigrant visa applicants that cannot afford to pay healthcare.
According to a proclamation of the White House published in early October, the US President Donald Trump instructed the authorities to stop granting visas to immigrants that would become a “financial burden” to the US healthcare system.
The proclamation claimed that US hospitals and other providers often administer care to the uninsured without any hope of receiving reimbursement from them, the costs of which, they say, are then passed on to the American people in the form of higher taxes, higher premiums and higher fees for medical services.
However, these groups, which include the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Innovation Law Lab and the Justice action Center, accused the administration that by doing so, they were in an attempt of trying “unilaterally rewrite” the nation’s immigration laws.
“Based on the latest data, up to an estimated 375,000 immigrants are at risk each year of being banned due to a lack of “approved” health insurance coverage, or close to two-thirds of all qualified immigrant visa applicants, many of whom are people of color,” the groups wrote in their filing, adding that this unacceptable to the laws and Constitution of the US.
The group is hoping their lawsuit will succeed in the court. Doug Rand, a former White House official under the Obama presidency believes that the chances the proclamation may be stopped through the lawsuit are high.
“It’s pretty clear just from the text of the proclamation that it is highly vulnerable. It was clearly written in haste and without an immense amount for interagency consultation,” he said.
A fact sheet about the proclamation, also published by the White House, had also insisted that the action had been taken by President Trump, as an attempt to ensure that the American citizens have the availability of healthcare benefits protected.
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