The Trump administration’s announcement that it will turn away immigrants who lack health insurance is an unfortunate stunt that will help neither immigrants nor the American people. While the administration says it prefers people “who contribute and not drain resources” to people “on public assistance,” it ignores the huge contribution immigrants make to the economy after they arrive. Many immigrants come to the United States as they have for hundreds of years, dating back to Jamestown, fleeing poverty and seeking economic opportunity. Once here, they find the land of opportunity and the vast majority become productive members of their communities and assets to the country.
Our immigration system is broken, and the time has long past for Congress to reform it. Decisions about who can come and who can’t shouldn’t be based on the whim of an unelected bureaucrat, but based in law made by the representatives of the American people – a nation of immigrants – for the good of the country.