U.S. President Joe Biden has revoked a ban by former President Donald Trump (Trump). The ban prevented immigrants from obtaining a U.S. visa if they could not prove they had access to health insurance or could pay for health care.
The order, issued in 2019, denied entry visas to people who were deemed to be a “financial burden” on the health care system, FoxNews reported. In a statement announcing the revocation of the order, Biden said the policy did not “advance” the national interest.
The revocation order was issued by Biden on Friday (May 14) when he welcomed a group of “Dreamers” to the White House.
My administration is committed to expanding access to high-quality, affordable health care,” Biden said in a statement. However, we can achieve this goal without barring non-citizens who seek to immigrate to the United States legally, but lack significant financial means or do not purchase health insurance from a range of restricted qualifying programs.”
The order Trump issued at the time did not apply to immigrants already living in the United States, nor to legal permanent residents, refugees, asylum seekers or children.
In a statement at the time, Trump’s White House explained that “hospitals and other (medical) providers often perform medical services for the uninsured with no expectation of receiving any reimbursement from them.” “The costs associated with such medical services are passed on to the American people in the form of high taxes, high insurance premiums and high fees for medical services. The United States has long welcomed immigrants who come legally to the United States in search of a better future. We must continue that tradition while addressing the challenges facing our health care system, including protecting the system, and the American taxpayer, from the burden of uncompensated care.”
Biden has reversed a number of Trump-era immigration policies in his first few months in office. Those Biden policies, critics say, have led to a surge in immigration at the U.S. southern border. Trump policies that have been reversed by Biden include the construction of a border wall, increased domestic immigration enforcement, and the Migrant Protection protocol, which requires immigrants to remain in Mexico while waiting for hearings again.
In April, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol detained 178,622 immigrants trying to cross into the U.S. illegally, a 3 percent increase over the roughly 172,000 encountered in March, the highest number in 20 years.