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“This is nothing less than a legal immigration ban, that stands alongside the Trump administration’s asylum and refugee bans.”

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America’s Voice on Trump’s Latest Effort to Unilaterally Slash Legal Immigration  

Last Friday afternoon, the Trump Administration issued an executive order to bar the admission of legal immigrants who cannot prove they have health insurance. 

The following is a statement from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:

This is nothing less than a legal immigration ban, that stands alongside the Trump administration’s asylum and refugee ban. Trump and his immigration point man Stephen Miller are radically reshaping U.S. immigration policy unilaterally. Their goal is to keep out and kick out immigrants and refugees. Their strategy is to do so by administrative fiat — by going around rather than through Congress. 

Over the years, Congress has enacted immigration laws to govern admissions and the enforcement of these limits. These laws are in desperate need of modernization and overhaul, but instead of working with Congress, Trump and Miller are going around our elected legislators to restrict legal immigration in every way imaginable, especially when they can target working class immigrants and immigrants they consider to be from ‘shithole countries.’ This is constitutionally dangerous; it threatens the basic functioning of our democracy; and, at its root, these moves are racially motivated.

It is no coincidence that the nationals most affected come from African, Asian, Caribbean, and Latin American countries. White immigrants from Europe and elsewhere are more likely to be able to prove they have health insurance coverage and thus be exempted from the impact of this policy.

Of course, for those actually concerned about the future and fragility of our healthcare system, it’s worth noting that while the Trump administration insists that newly-arriving legal immigrants have health insurance, the Trump administration is hellbent on taking healthcare insurance away from Americans. Their ongoing crusade to eviscerate the ACA and screw over those with pre-existing conditions is a much bigger existential threat to Americans and their health than the immigrants they are scapegoating. 

Like everything with Trump and immigration, such maneuvers must be seen through the prism of his relentless and lawless effort to hold onto power. His 2020 re-election campaign will be the dirtiest, ugliest and most incendiary campaign in American history and immigrants are the scapegoats Trump will deploy at every opportunity.

Trump will continue to divide and distract Americans by claiming that they are threatened by hardworking immigrant families and not by a political movement that picks the pocket of ordinary Americans to line the pockets of Trump and his wealthy donors while enforcing a new means test on immigrants aimed at making America whiter.

Let us hope, for the sake of the American experiment, that voters render the final verdict on this man and his party, and expel from power those bent on mendacity, autocracy and white supremacy.