Harmful Trump-Era Presidential Proclamation Revoked

The Biden Administration has issued a Presidential Proclamation revoking an October 2019 Presidential Proclamation that barred immigration from abroad by individuals who could not show that they already had health insurance in the U.S. or would be able to obtain it within thirty days of arrival.  Health insurance via the Affordable Care Act was not allowed to satisfy the requirement.

As explained in this prior post, since most employment-based immigrants work in professional positions with employer-provided health benefits, the proclamation was aimed at slashing immigration by immediate family members of U.S. citizens and those immigrating through the Diversity Visa program.   Estimates were that the rule would slash immigration by as much as 65 percent, ignoring the fact that new immigrants become workers, taxpayers and contributing members of their communities.

The full effect of the rule was never felt, first because implementation of the Trump era proclamation was temporarily blocked by a federal court order.  Then, due to COVID-19, the Trump Administration blocked virtually all immigration from abroad ostensibly to prevent job competition.  That bar to immigration was not lifted until after the Biden administration assumed power.

Revocation of this health insurance requirement is welcome news for an aging nation with shrinking  birth rates, that  must have immigration if it is to maintain vibrant communities and a workforce numerous enough to meet the needs of U.S. employers.