Attorney General Becerra Condemns Trump Administration’s Unlawful Healthcare Requirements Restricting Legal Immigration
Hundreds of thousands of visa applicants could be unlawfully blocked from entering the United States
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced that he is co-leading two separate amicus briefs in support of lawsuits challenging the Trump Administration’s revised public charge guidelines and unlawful proclamation imposing new healthcare requirements for most visa applicants. Together, these federal actions would require consular officers to deny entry to prospective immigrants who might, at any point in the future, make minor and temporary use of public programs, and to assess whether prospective immigrants have qualifying health coverage or the ability to pay for their reasonably foreseeable medical care. The first amicus brief was filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Doe v. Trump and the second was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Make the Road New York v. Pompeo.
“President Trump is so fixated with pursuing anti-immigrant policies that he is blind to the effects they’ll have on the health of our nation and our economy,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Punishing hardworking immigrant families will hurt not only them, but everyone in the communities and states they call home. There’s no place for this type of arbitrary rule in a nation built by immigrants. We’ll continue to fight against these callous efforts every step of the way.”
By vastly expanding the criteria for barring immigrants on the grounds that they are likely to become a “public charge” and imposing new health insurance requirements, the Trump Administration is attempting to unlawfully prevent up to hundreds of thousands of people from obtaining visas each year. In both amicus briefs, the coalitions argue that the Trump Administration’s actions contradict Congress' longstanding policy of keeping families together. Estimates indicate that as many as 65 percent of recently arrived green card holders would not have been granted a visa under the healthcare proclamation. Many of those individuals would have been eligible for entry as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, such as spouses, children, and parents.
The amicus briefs also assert that the Trump Administration’s actions undermine federal law and healthcare access. For instance, the healthcare proclamation runs counter to Congressional intent in providing affordable and comprehensive healthcare access to immigrants. By directing immigrants toward health coverage that does not comply with the Affordable Care Act, the Trump Administration could drive up healthcare premiums for people across the country. As a result, uninsured rates could go up and states could be stuck with the bill when their residents are unable to pay for their healthcare.
Attorney General Becerra is committed to defending the healthcare and rights of hardworking families in California and across the country. Last year, the Attorney General helped block the President’s healthcare proclamation from going into effect nationwide by leading an amicus brief at an earlier stage of Doe v. Trump. In a separate lawsuit, Attorney General Becerra is leading a multistate coalition against the Trump Administration’s harmful public charge rule that discourages hardworking immigrants and their families from accessing critical health, nutrition, and housing programs. Attorney General Becerra is also leading the defense of the Affordable Care Act, recently petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court for review, to help keep healthcare affordable and protect those with preexisting conditions from the Trump administration’s efforts to invalidate the entire law.
A copy of the amicus brief filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is available here. Co-led by California and Oregon, the coalition includes the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia, as well as Santa Clara County, CA and the cities of Baltimore, MD; Carrboro, NC; Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Oakland, CA; Philadelphia, PA; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; and Union City, NJ.
A copy of the amicus brief filed with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York is available here. Co-led by California and New York, the coalition includes the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia, as well as Santa Clara County, CA and the cities of Chicago, IL; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; Oakland, CA; Philadelphia, PA; and Seattle, WA.