President Donald Trump secured a surprise victory in court this week.
According to Breitbart, a federal court ruled Thursday that Trump, as president, does have the authority to block immigrants who are deemed unable to pay for their own health insurance from entering the United States.
The Trump administration reportedly maintains that such individuals would be a “public charge” to taxpayers.
Breitbart cited a San Francisco Chronicle report that said as many as 375,000 legal immigrants could be affected by the policy each year.
The Chronicle reports that the case stems from President Trump’s October 2019 proclamation requiring visa seekers to either show proof of health insurance or prove that they would be able to acquire health insurance within 30 days of entering the country.
The Chronicle clarifies that under such a policy, immigrants “could receive Medicare and be allowed to remain, but those who planned to obtain coverage under the low-income Medicaid program or the government-subsidized Affordable Care Act would not be eligible.”
The policy was swiftly challenged and in December 2019, a federal judge in Portland issued an injunction that blocked it from taking effect. The president appealed, however — and now, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with Trump.
According to Breitbart, the majority opinion noted that current immigration law “grants the president sweeping authority to decide whether to suspend entry, whose entry to suspend, and for how long.”
In its 5-4 ruling, the court also made clear that the president can implement such a policy unilaterally so long as his policy does not conflict with federal laws. The San Francisco Chronicle reported:
The majority said the U.S. Supreme Court recognized those powers in 2018 when it upheld Trump’s ban on travel to the U.S. from a number of predominantly Muslim nations.
The Trump administration had reportedly argued that allowing immigrants to enter the U.S. without the promise of health coverage would only add to the more than $35 billion spent by taxpayers and health care providers on what the Chronicle called “uninsured residents” each year.
Trump’s team also “presented evidence that legal immigrants are only one-third as likely as U.S. citizens to have health insurance,” according to the Chronicle.
Considering these numbers, the 9th Circuit’s ruling seems to be a total win for both Trump and the American people, who need to keep their money in their own pockets now more than ever. But will such a policy continue under a Joe Biden administration? I wouldn’t place my bets on it.