President Donald Trump issued a proclamation on Friday night requiring many future immigrant visa applicants to show they can afford health care, a move that could make it harder for poor migrants to enter the U.S.
The US Government will now block the entry of immigrants without health insurance or the ability to pay for medical bills.
Consular officers will only be allowed to issue visas to prospective immigrants who can prove they “will not impose a substantial burden” on the US health care system, according to a proclamation authored by Trump.
“Lawful immigrants are about three times more likely than United States citizens to lack health insurance,” Trump said in the proclamation.
“Immigrants who enter this country should not further saddle our healthcare system, and subsequently American taxpayers, with higher costs.”
The measure will go into effect on November 3.
Trump made cracking down on immigration a key part of his 2016 presidential campaign platform.
He has pushed wide-ranging immigration law reforms, while tasking authorities with carrying out mass deportations of people in the US illegally.
Last week Washington also announced plans to dramatically lower its ceiling on a decades-old refugee resettlement program by 40 percent.