President Joe Biden came into office with the clear intention of rescinding as many of his predecessor’s border and immigration policies as possible.
He has now reversed yet another directive implemented by former President Donald Trump, which prevented immigrants from obtaining a visa if they could not afford health care coverage.
“Without barring the entry of noncitizens”
The Biden administration announced on Friday that it intended to reverse the Trump order because it “does not advance the interests” of the U.S. government.
“My administration is committed to expanding access to quality, affordable healthcare,” the president added. “We can achieve that objective, however, without barring the entry of noncitizens who seek to immigrate lawfully to this country but who lack significant means or have not purchased health insurance coverage from a restrictive list of qualifying plans.”
In 2019, Trump issued a proclamation preventing immigrants deemed to represent a “burden” to the nation’s health care system from obtaining a visa.
“People who come here shouldn’t immediately be on public assistance,” said one senior Trump administration adviser said at the time. “We should bring people here who contribute and not drain resources.”
Proponents of the requirement agree it sets a troubling precedent to admit immigrants into the U.S. only to begin distributing payments to them through government assistance programs.
Of course, the plan has its share of opponents who argue for compassion toward immigrant communities. This argument seems to disregard compassion toward American taxpayers who could now be on the hook for the health care costs of a much larger group of people.
Biden’s decision to rescind the Trump-era order reveals a difference in priorities between the two administrations.
For his part, Trump wanted to ensure immigrants came to the U.S. with something to offer like specialized skills and/or the means with which to support themselves.
Biden, on the other hand, seems more interested in admitting as many immigrants as possible under the guise of compassion, though skeptics believe Democrats are simply using the population expansion as a method to grow their base of voters.
The risk associated with such policies is that they will not only create a more powerful federal government or even tip the nation toward a single-payer system providing substandard health care to Americans across the board.