A judge decided to temporarily block U.S. President Donald Trump’s order, which was to take effect this Sunday, to deny visas to immigrants without health insurance or who cannot afford it, which was today rejected “emphatically” by the White House.
Last night’s judicial decision comes after a lawsuit filed by Justice Action Center, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and Innovation Law Lab, which reported in a statement that this is not the end of this process since in the coming days a court in Oregon (U.S.) will have to consider this case.
The White House today expressed in a note its “strong” disagreement with “the decision of a district court to impose a national level order against the president’s policy, preliminarily and urgently over the weekend, without even allowing the government the opportunity to provide a written defense”.
He added that “it is unfair and wrong for a district judge to abort the president’s policies to better protect the U.S. health care system, and for taxpayers who suffer the serious consequences of the great pressure on the health care system by unbalanced subsidization of (health) care to those seeking admission” in the country.
On October 4th, Trump issued a proclamation ordering consulates to deny entry visas to immigrants who cannot prove that they have “the financial resources to pay for medical costs” within 30 days of entering the U.S. or that they “will be covered by approved health insurance.
Justice Action Center attorney Esther Sung said in a statement that “Trump’s ban would separate families and cut two-thirds of green card immigration”.
The main people affected by Trump’s order would be immigrants from Latin America, Africa and Asia, who go to U.S. consulates abroad to apply for an entry visa.
It would also impact immigrants within the country who are in the middle of the green card process and who are not allowed to remain in U.S. territory while the procedure is being resolved, so they have to be interviewed at a consulate abroad.
In practice it is also very difficult to get health insurance within 30 days, as many employers impose waiting times until a new worker is considered eligible for such coverage paid for by the company.
In statements to Efe, the director of Innovation Law Lab’s Strategic Initiatives, Ramon Valdez, stressed that, if the order is implemented, “it would affect two-thirds of all visas, that is, 400,000 people a year.
In addition, he denounced the difficulties to accede to a medical insurance that the immigrants involved would have to face: “Not all the medical insurances qualify for this rule, they (the Government) gave a list of different types of medical coverage that the immigrants should have”.
“And the types of health insurance available to immigrants do not qualify for this rule,” he lamented.