Trump to suspend US visas for immigrants who can't cover healthcare

Trump to suspend US visas for immigrants who can't cover healthcare

- Immigrants who cannot show that they can afford to pay their medical bills will not be granted US visas

- The proclamation, signed by US President Donald Trump, takes effect from 3 November

- According to Trump, too many non-citizens were taking advantage of the US' “generous public health programmes"

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President Donald Trump has issued a proclamation to block the entry of immigrants applying for United States visas who cannot prove that they are capable of obtaining health insurance within 30 days of entering the country.

President Trump signed the proclamation on Friday, 4 October and it will be effective from 3 November, New York Times reports.

According to Trump, “The United States government is making the problem worse by admitting thousands of aliens who have not demonstrated any ability to pay for their health care costs."

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"Immigrants who enter this country should not further saddle our health care system, and subsequently American taxpayers, with higher costs," he added.

This applies to those applying for immigrant visas. It will also apply to spouses and parents of US citizens who want to live in the country.

It does not affect lawful permanent residents and offers an exemption to asylum seekers, refugees and children.

The average cost of buying an annual premium medical insurance is said to be $4,300.

This proclamation comes as President Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry. The US House of Representatives had on Tuesday, 24 September announced that it would immediately begin a formal impeachment inquiry of Trump.

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The speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said Trump betrayed his oath of office when he tried to enlist a foreign president so as to win the election at home. She further described Trump's actions as dishonourable and a betrayal of the country's national security and election integrity.

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