The Trump Administration finalized a rule on Monday that allows for legal immigrants to have their legal status threatened if these individuals utilize certain government benefits, such as Medicaid. The rule was published by the Federal Register by the Department of Homeland Security and will give authority to federal immigration officials to scrutinize the use of government benefits in legal residency applications.
The rule will extend to citizens’ and legal residents’ applications to bring family members to the United States as well, as well as to the Dreamers, who are young individuals under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The rule, which will be enacted on October 15th, 2019, will consider such government benefits such as Medicaid, public health insurance and programs such as nutrition and housing. Besides government benefits and programs, other factors that can impact a legal immigrant’s residency can be if they have a medical condition that will bar them from working or going to school, as well as not having health insurance or not being able to afford medical costs. These factors will have a negative impact on a legal immigrant’s residency application.
The reasoning behind this controversial ruling is to protect Americans’ self-sufficiency and to benefit taxpayers, which the acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services states “is a central part of the American value set.”
Opposing views believe that this ruling will hinder the public health efforts made by leading hospital groups, who state that the fear of this proposal caused participation in health programs to decrease.
According to the CEO of the American Hospital Association, “This rule…creates barriers to appropriately caring for the sick and injured, and to keeping people healthy. Failure to provide such services also has public health implications that could have widespread impact.”
Read the original article from Modern Healthcare here.