Capitol Correspondence - 12.03.19

Court Blocks Administration’s Immigrant Insurance Mandate

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With roughly a quarter of the direct care workforce comprised of immigrants, employers and disability advocates alike have been concerned by the Administration’s planned effort to mandate that immigrants seeking to entry to the United States demonstrate the ability to obtain health insurance, excluding insurance offered by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges. The measure would have taken effect this week, but as reported by Politico Pulse:

“A federal judge Tuesday night blocked Trump’s new rule denying visas to immigrants unless they buy health insurance without any public subsidies within 30 days of entering the country or otherwise cover all of their medical costs, POLITICO’s Susannah Luthi reports. The rule was poised to go into effect Dec. 1.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon’s decision temporarily freezes the policy the White House rolled out in late October that could have severely restricted the ability of hundreds of thousands of immigrant visa applicants to enter the U.S. each year. (It would not have applied to asylum seekers or refugees.) The administration is expected to appeal.

In his ruling, Simon — an appointee of President Barack Obama — knocked the Trump administration for providing “no national security or foreign relations justification for this sweeping change in immigration law.” He sided with the plaintiffs, who argued the rule infringes on Congress’ authority by attempting “to rewrite our country’s immigration laws and fundamentally shift the balance of power between the branches of government.”