The restraining order was issued as part of a case brought by immigrants whose visa applications would have been endangered by the new rule. Although the new health insurance rule doesn’t apply to those who already are in the United States, nor to lawful permanent residents, asylum seekers, refugees or children, it would apply to anyone seeking to obtain a legal visa or permanent residency (otherwise known as a “green card) from outside the country. The rationale for this proposed rule was to prevent immigrants from coming to the United States simply to take advantage of our health care system, including programs like Medicare or Medicaid.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation
, a full quarter of legal immigrants don’t have any form of health insurance when seeking admission to the United States, and the Migration Policy Institute says the new rule could disqualify as many as 375,000 applicants every year. Aside from the practical effect of barring poorer or low-skilled immigrants from entering the country, the new rule also might have a deterrent effect, preventing people who might otherwise legally be able to immigrate from seeking legal immigrant status. There is also a question as to whether the rule is legal at all, an issue the court hopes to settle over the next month as both sides collect evidence and form their arguments.
If you are a non-citizen seeking a visa or other immigration relief, please call the attorneys at Bretz & Coven LLP. We will help you through the difficult process of applying for a visa, protecting your rights and giving you the best chance possible at attaining legal status. To schedule a consultation with our New York immigration lawyers, call (212) 267-2555 or visit our contact page.