U.S. President Donald Trump has issued a proclamation requiring intending immigrants to prove that they can afford health insurance as a prerequisite to being issued an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. The proclamation does not affect existing lawful permanent residents, asylum seekers, refugees or children.

The new measure, which is scheduled to take effect on November 3rd, requires immigrants to show that they are to be covered by health insurance within 30 days of entering the United States or have enough financial resources to pay for any medical related expenses. Insurance can be purchased individually or provided by an employer. It can also be short-term or catastrophic.

The proclamation, which was premised under Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, grants the president authority to declare certain migrants ineligible for entry because it would be “contrary to the national interest” and “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” The section is the same legal authority that President Trump used in 2017 which restricted travel to nationals of several Muslim-majority countries.  We expect that this will be challenged in court as an overreach of the President’s powers and requiring the administration to justify its use but a final outcome is uncertain.

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