Press Release

Attorney General Ellison fights unlawful attempt to use healthcare coverage to bar immigrants

Joins coalition of 22 AGs in challenging presidential proclamation that would bar entry to immigrants who do not possess certain health insurance or the ability to pay for medical care

November 13, 2019 (SAINT PAUL) – Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has joined a coalition of 22 attorneys general in support of Doe, et al. v. Trump, et al., a lawsuit filed to challenge the Trump Administration’s Health Insurance Proclamation to bar entry into the United States for immigrants who do not possess certain health coverage or the ability to pay for medical care. In an amicus brief, the coalition asserts the Proclamation is an unlawful attempt to impose immigration restrictions that contradict laws passed by Congress, including the Affordable Care Act. Under this new requirement, a significant number of applicants who would normally qualify for immigration status would no longer be eligible. Further, Attorney General Ellison and the coalition argue that adding this requirement would result in the separation of immigrant families and would harm Minnesota and the other states. 

“Once again, the Trump Administration is attempting to violate the law to pursue their anti-immigrant political agenda,” Attorney General Ellison said. “My office and other states have already held the Administration accountable in court for violating legal standards for immigrant children in detention, attempting to bar legal immigrants from accessing public services that they’re legally entitled to, and attempting to impose a radical new deportation program that would nearly eliminate people’s due-process rights and result in legal immigrants and U.S. citizens being deported. I’m not going to stand by and let them use healthcare to harm thousands of Minnesota families.”

In the brief, Attorney General Ellison and the coalition argue that the proclamation violates Congress’ public charge statutes by adding an entry condition that Congress did not choose to include. The coalition also argues that this condition would conflict with Congress’ visa statutes dedicated to family reunification and workforce development. Additionally, it would conflict with the Diversity Visa laws established by Congress for immigrants from countries with low numbers of immigrants to the United States. The proclamation would affect immigration applications for immigrants who are typically eligible for visas.

Attorney General Ellison joined the brief that was led by California Attorney General Becerra and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and also joined by the attorneys general of Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia. The City of New York also joined the amicus brief.

A copy of the filed brief is available on the website of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.