Requiring Immigrants to Buy Health Insurance Is Sound Policy

The Trump Administration has released a new Presidential Proclamation requiring foreign nationals entering the United States as permanent residents to show that they have the ability to purchase medical insurance within 30 days of admission. The elitist corporate media  is having a collective meltdown, claiming that this action is evidence of anti-immigrant bias upon the part of Team Trump – much as it did when U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced its intention to enforce the public charge regulations.

Forbes interviewed a lawyer from Klasko Immigration Law Partners – a law firm whose primary business is obtaining visas for foreigners – for commentary on the new rules but didn’t bother to solicit opinion from government officials or organizations that seek to represent public interests on the immigration issue. Meanwhile, the New York Times quoted Steve Yale-Loehr, a well-known activist for “alien rights” who claims that, “President Trump has failed to build a physical wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to deter illegal immigrants but he has effectively built an invisible wall to keep out legal immigrants.” The Times’ piece quotes several other attorneys who defend immigrants but, like the Forbes article, forgoes any comment from anyone with differing viewpoints.

In reality, President Trump hasn’t done anything that isn’t common practice for the vast majority of countries in the world.  For instance: French immigration law requires all immigrants to register with the Caisse Primaire d’Assurances Maladie and begin paying into the national healthcare system, within three months of arrival in France. Britain requires most immigrants to pay a healthcare surcharge as part of the immigration application process. And health insurance is a requirement for anyone relocating to Australia on a working visa. And those are just examples of nations that require permanent and longer-term immigrants to purchase health insurance.

Many countries require all foreigners to purchase travelers’ insurance before they can enter, even for a brief visit. According to IMGlobal, a company that provides medical insurance to travelers and migrants, notes, “Rising global health care costs have encouraged an increasing number of governments worldwide to require or consider requiring travel health insurance for non-nationals.”, a website featuring travel tips and news, currently lists the European Union’s Schengen Nations, Cuba, Ecuador, Qatar, Russia, Thailand Turkey and the United Arab Emirates as nations that require tourists to purchase travelers’ insurance.

Simply put, it’s not the responsibility of American taxpayers to fund healthcare for foreign nationals. The media elites haven’t criticized France, Britain or Australia for expecting migrants to those countries to have health insurance. So, it’s pure hypocrisy when they criticize the Trump administration for doing what is clearly accepted within the community of nations as sound fiscal policy.

Along with vigorous enforcement of the public charge rules, President Trump’s proclamation is an important step toward ensuring the fiscal well-being of America’s healthcare system and protecting public health.

About Author


Matthew J. O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. Over the past twenty years he has held a wide variety of positions focusing on immigration issues, both in government and in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining FAIR Matt served as the Chief of the National Security Division (NSD) within the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he was responsible for formulating and implementing procedures to protect the legal immigration system from terrorists, foreign intelligence operatives, and other national security threats. He has also held positions as the Chief of the FDNS Policy and Program Development Unit, as the Chief of the FDNS EB-5 Division, as Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, as a Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and as a District Adjudications Officer with the legacy Immigration & Naturalization Service. In addition, Matt has extensive experience as a private bar attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.


  1. avatar

    We Also Should Make Learning English On Your Own Dime a Requirement for Being Let Into America Too

    No speak English, no American citizenship either…no one can hire you.

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  3. avatar

    Australia also has very strict policies on admitting foreigners to take skilled jobs. You have to prove that you could not find a citizen to fill the job, not just moan like American tech companies that they can’t find qualified Americans [for the peanuts they want to pay] , while our Congress holds the crying towel for those companies.

    This whole issue of medical insurance just proves the never-ending goal post moving by the media and the left. First it’s what an asset they are, but then Trump says immigrants will need insurance, so they are then forced to admit that many do not have it, but it’s racist not to let them come here anyway.

    Look at how many of the presidential candidates are ready to give medical insurance to every illegal here. Never mind that a substantial number of middle class Americans have been forced to buy insurance that includes programs they don’t want or need [like substance abuse]. Or the fact that many are paying substantial amounts for what is in the end only catastrophic coverage. Many pay several hundreds of dollars monthly for coverage, but have deductibles so high that they pay everything out of pocket until they reach a deductible of many thousands.