World, Americas

US: Health insurance rule for migrants faces lawsuit

Rule affects those seeking migrant visas from abroad

Beyza Binnur Donmez   | 31.10.2019
US: Health insurance rule for migrants faces lawsuit

ANKARA

Seven U.S. citizens and a non-governmental group filled a lawsuit against a rule which requires migrants to prove they can afford health care before they get the U.S. visa.

The federal lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in Portland, Oregon to challenge the rule that is set to take effect on Sunday, according to California daily The Modesto Bee.

It accuses the Trump administration of preventing citizens from bringing their foreign family members to live with them in the U.S.

It will affect those seeking migrant visas from abroad to reduce migrant access to public programs and family-based migration system.

"Congress makes laws, the president executes them. This is an egregious attempt to supersede and overturn congressional will, not only in the immigration realm but in the health care realm," the daily cited Jesse Bless, the director of federal litigation at the American Immigration Lawyers Association, who helped file the case.

Under the visa rule, the required insurance can be bought individually or provided by an employer and it can be short-term or catastrophic coverage.

President Donald Trump has pursued a hardline approach to immigration, both legal and illegal, since coming to the office and Washington signed a safe third country agreement with Guatemala in late July and with El Salvador mid-September.

The safe third-country agreement forces Central American migrants to apply for asylum in the signed country and be processed in that country before they can seek asylum in the U.S., even though under U.S. laws migrants are allowed to apply for asylum within the U.S. or at official ports of entry.

Although Mexico rejected such a deal, it reached another one in June with the U.S. administration following a tariff which obligates the country to reduce the immigration flow.

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