A Presidential Proclamation for Green Card Applicants
The Trump Administration recently announced that it is considering limiting the granting of Green Cards to only those who carry health insurance. This announcement was released on Friday evening.
Under current regulations, intending immigrants do not need to prove that they are covered under health insurance. The new regulation requires that they either prove that they will be covered within 30 days of entering the United States or that they are financially able to pay “reasonably foreseeable” medical costs. Persons applying for Green Cards are also barred from using the Affordable Care Act to cover them (known as “Obamacare”, the ACA provides low income individuals with required health insurance).
The Migration Policy Institute found that the new rule would prevent up to 65% of those who apply for Green Cards from attaining them.
The move shifts the immigration system in the United States even further towards “merit-based” immigration, a long-term goal of the Trump administration. Merit-based immigration favors those who have their own resources rather than low-income individuals coming to join family members already in the United States. The new rule is scheduled to go into effect on November 3, 2019. It is unclear how intending immigrants will prove that they are insured or through what channels they may obtain said health insurance.