Federal Court: President Donald Trump Has Authority to Bar Uninsured Immigrants from Admission

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The San Francisco Chronicle put the number of migrants who would not be admissible at an estimated 375,000 every year — or about one million every 2.5 years.

The Chronicle claimed migrants have a right to enter American’s homeland even if they need Americans to pay for their healthcare, and suggested that President-elect Joe Biden would probably reverse Trump’s move:

Thursday’s court ruling involved his October 2019 proclamation denying visas to immigrants who did not have health insurance and could not show that they would obtain it within 30 days of entering the country. Immigrants could receive Medicare and be allowed to remain, but those who planned to obtain coverage under the low-income Medicaid program or the government-subsidized Affordable Care Act would not be eligible. Advocates for immigrants say Trump’s proclamation would bar entry to nearly two-thirds of all otherwise legal migrants, those who obtain their entry visas from employers, U.S. relatives or an annual lottery.

The ruling by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, if it becomes final, would allow Trump’s order to take effect for the first time. But attorney Esther Sung of the Justice Action Center, one of the legal organizations challenging the policy, said that under the court’s standard timetable, the ruling will not be binding for 52 days. That would be well past President-elect Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration. Biden has promised to undo his predecessor’s anti-immigration policies as soon as possible.

A federal judge in Portland blocked Trump’s proclamation from taking effect in December 2019, saying it exceeded the president’s legal authority. Panels of the appeals court twice denied emergency orders that would have let Trump enforce the ban during the court proceedings. But a different panel of the court ruled 2-1 Thursday that the president’s broad powers over immigration include the authority to limit entry only to those who can afford health insurance. The majority said the U.S. Supreme Court recognized those powers in 2018 when it upheld Trump’s ban on travel to the U.S. from a number of predominantly Muslim nations.

The ruling “makes clear that the Biden administration must move swiftly to rescind all of President Trump’s xenophobic presidential proclamations, including this health care ban,” Sung said in the Chronicle report. “Countless people have been hurt by this ban, and each passing day keeps families needlessly separated.”

Judge Daniel Collins said in the majority opinion that the law “grants the president sweeping authority to decide whether to suspend entry, whose entry to suspend, and for how long” and “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

Collins said Trump can put in place restrictions beyond those enacted by Congress as long as the rules do not conflict with federal laws.

And the cost of this migrant demographic is staggering.

“The appeals court said the Trump administration had presented evidence that legal immigrants are only one-third as likely as U.S. citizens to have health insurance, and that uninsured residents cost taxpayers and health care providers more than $35 billion a year,” the Chronicle reported.

Open border advocates side with migrants on the issue.

In dissent, Judge A. Wallace Tashima said Trump’s order conflicts with immigration policies and laws passed by Congress, including the Affordable Care Act, which made legal immigrants eligible for the same subsidized coverage as U.S. citizens.

Tashima said the restriction violates part of the Violence Against Women Act that protects victims of violent sex crimes from being deported.

The president’s proclamation was “a major overhaul of this nation’s immigration laws without the input of Congress — a sweeping and unprecedented exercise of unilateral executive power,” Tashima said.