The current U.S. administration has made cutting immigration a centerpiece of its agenda, announcing last month it would cut by nearly half the amount of refugees it would allow during the 2020 fiscal year.
On Friday United State President Donald Trump signed a proclamation suspending the entry of immigrants into the country who will not be covered by health insurance within 30 days, or do not have the means to pay for their own healthcare costs.
The White House said the measure won't affect any individual's eligibility for asylum or refugee status. The provision will go into effect Nov. 3.
Just days ago the administration announced it would cut by nearly half, the amount of refugees it would allow during the 2020 fiscal year to 18,000.
"While our healthcare system grapples with the challenges caused by uncompensated care, the United States Government is making the problem worse by admitting thousands of aliens who have not demonstrated any ability to pay for their healthcare costs," Trump claimed in his communique.
He said the suspension applied only to people seeking to enter the U.S. with an immigrant visa. The document listed the types of insurance considered approved, such as employer-sponsored plans and the Medicare program for the elderly. But the White House said for people over the age of 18, coverage under the Medicaid program for the poor is not approved.