Another directive from the White House came out yesterday and it’s sure to have immigration activists setting their hair on fire. Beginning on November 3rd, prospective immigrants applying for a visa to enter the United States will need to be able to demonstrate that they have health insurance or the financial means to pay for potential medical bills so they don’t wind up becoming “a public charge.” That sound you hear in the background is the feet of a thousand civil liberty lawyers rushing to file lawsuits. (NBC News)
President Donald Trump announced Friday that legal immigrants will be denied visas unless they can prove they have health insurance or the means to cover medical costs.
The rule, which takes effect Nov. 3, is part of a broader effort within the administration that seeks to make it more difficult for low-income legal immigrants who receive food stamps or other taxpayer-funded assistance to stay in the country.
Ken Cuccinelli, the director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, announced the broader policy in August, explaining that immigrants who could become a “public charge” would be rejected.
It’s not hard to see what’s going on here. President Trump is trolling his political adversaries as hard as he possibly can to keep the heat on for the upcoming election season. And based on recent history, they’re probably going to take the bait hook, line and sinker. The inevitable lawsuits will most likely be filed before the virtual ink on this column has dried.
This is one that Trump seems destined to lose, however, even with the more conservative Supreme Court we have now. I both understand and support the majority of the President’s efforts to build a more merit-based immigration system, but you eventually reach a point where some restrictions are a bridge too far.
I realize the words of The New Colossus are poetry and not a constitutional mandate, but… c’mon, man.
If someone qualifies for a visa in all other regards and is attempting to go through the naturalization process legally rather than just jumping our borders, they deserve at least some credit for following the rules. And while holding a green card or a visa doesn’t make you a citizen with 100% of the same rights and obligations, we tend to treat them pretty much the same as they work through the process.
We have far too many citizens around the country who are in poor financial shape and can easily be bankrupted if they run into a major medical crisis. (That includes people with low-coverage medical insurance with high deductibles and maximum out of pocket expenses.) We don’t throw them out of the country for being poor.
As I said above, I understand this is just Donald Trump trolling the Democrats. It’s what he does and he’s turned out to be remarkably good at it. But this could backfire on him with swing voters if he reaches the point of seeming unnecessarily cruel. And this restriction certainly looks like it reaches the bar of cruelty for no reason other than political expediency.