Once again, the Administration is trying to separate families and fundamentally change our immigration system without the approval of Congress. This time, the president made an “emergency” proclamation requiring that immigrant applying for a family based visa or residency must be denied entry and residency to the United States unless they prove they will have private health insurance within 30 days of arrival or sufficient resources to pay for foreseeable medical costs.
This “emergency” proclamation was issued without warning or enough detail for such a monumental policy change. This policy would create huge administrative burdens for applicants and the federal government, and it’s unclear how future applicants will be asked to prove they can find qualifying health insurance coverage within 30 days of arrival given the overwhelming complexity of the American healthcare system and cost of purchasing insurance as an individual.
According to the Migration Policy Institute, this policy could block two-thirds of those who apply for legal permanent residence from abroad. Just like public charge regulations finalized earlier this year, this policy would have a significant impact on future legal immigration and is yet another policy aimed at illegally reshaping our immigration system to allow wealthy immigrants only. Estimates show that this policy could prohibit the entry of roughly 375,000 immigrants annually who are applying for visas and residency in the U.S. to reunite with their families.
South Carolina Appleseed opposes the separation of families, radically changing the immigration system for the benefit of just the rich and using made up “emergencies” to pass immigration policies that violate laws passed by Congress. SC Appleseed joined with over 400 other advocacy organizations from across the country to oppose the Trump Administration’s proclamation on health insurance and we will continue to stand against policies like this that harm our immigrant families.