AG James Backs Lawsuit Challenging Trump Administration's Use Of Healthcare Coverage To Ban Immigration

AG James Backs Lawsuit Challenging Trump Administration’s
Use of Healthcare Coverage to Ban Immigration

Trump’s Proclamation Would Deny Visas to Immigrants Who Don’t
Possess Certain Health Insurance or the Ability to Pay for Medical Care

NEW YORK – Attorney General Letitia James today joined a coalition of 22 attorneys general and the City of New York in filing an amicus brief supporting Doe, et al. v. Trump, et al., a lawsuit filed to challenge the Trump Administration’s Health Insurance Proclamation, which bars entry for immigrants who do not possess certain health coverage or the ability to pay for medical care. In their brief, the attorneys general argue that this Proclamation is an unlawful attempt to impose immigration restrictions that contradict laws passed by Congress, including the Affordable Care Act. Under this new requirement, a significant number of applicants who would normally qualify for immigrant visas would no longer be eligible.

“Trump’s new proclamation is just another thinly veiled attack on immigrants,” said Attorney General James. “Once again, his Administration is undermining the will of Congress and pushing an agenda driven by politics, not policy. Immigrants make great contributions to this country, and we will continue to fight and challenge policies that would inflict great harm to them and our states.”

“New York City is proud to join states from across the country to continue to fight to protect immigrant families and to support an American healthcare system that makes quality healthcare accessible and affordable for all patients,” said New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Bitta Mostofi. “Denying visas to low-income immigrants, based on their ability to obtain health insurance upon arrival to the United States, flies in the face of the values of our city and our nation. The Trump administration’s mean-spirited and unworkable policy is part of a coordinated strategy to not only minimize immigration to the United States, but to confuse and intimidate immigrant families from accessing public programs and services for which they qualify under the law. New Yorkers who have questions about how the Proclamation could impact someone who is seeking an immigrant visa at a consulate abroad, can call ActionNYC at 1-800-354-0365 for free, confidential legal help.”

In the brief, the coalition argues that the proclamation violates Congress’ Immigration and Nationality Act, including its public charge provisions, by adding an admission condition that Congress did not choose to include. The coalition argues that this condition would conflict with the Immigration and Nationality Act’s dedication to family reunification and workforce development. Additionally, it would conflict with the diversity visa lottery established by Congress for immigrants from countries with low numbers of immigrants to the United States. The proclamation would affect immigration applications for individuals who are typically eligible for immigrant visas.

In filing the amicus brief, New York Attorney General James is joined by the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia. New York City also joined the amicus brief.