Federal court rules controversial Trump administration immigration rule may proceed

Though President Trump has experienced significant setbacks in his legal challenges of the election, he’s garnered some major legal wins in other areas as of late.

On Thursday, a federal court ruled in favor of a Trump administration rule seeking to bar legal immigrants that cannot afford their own health insurance — or prove they will be able to — from entering the United States.

Protecting American taxpayers

This rule is separate from the Trump administration’s controversial “public charge rule,” which seeks to reject immigrants that could become a burden on American taxpayers, but is based upon a similar principle.

The rule was first announced in October 2019 and was immediately blocked by a federal judge. After over a year of litigation, the favorable ruling comes from a surprising source — The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco — a notoriously liberal court.

The San Francisco Chronicle lamented the decision, writing that the public charge rule could block up to 375,000 immigrants from entering the US each year.

The Chronicle, of course, charged the Trump administration xenophobia over the rule, suggesting that migrants that cannot prove that they can support themselves once entering American still have a right to enter the US.

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,” wrote the Chronicle. “Countless people have been hurt by this ban, and each passing day keeps families needlessly separated.”

Sweeping authority

The minority dissent argued that President Trump does not have the power to level the new rule against incoming immigrants because it is “a major overhaul of this nation’s immigration laws without the input of Congress – a sweeping and unprecedented exercise of unilateral executive power.”

The majority disagreed, with Judge Daniel Collins writing 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.”

Collins added that the Trump administration rule shall be allowed to proceed as long as it doesn’t conflict with any federal laws.

Despite roundly condemning the ruling, the Chronicle did admit that “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.”

Incoming immigrants must now prove they can obtain health insurance and pay their medical expenses within 30 days or risk rejection from the US.

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