A federal judge in Oregon temporarily blocked a Trump administration policy Saturday that was set to bar the entry of immigrants applying for visas who could not prove that they would be able to obtain health insurance within 30 days of entering the United States.
Federal Judge Michael Simon issued a temporary restraining order that stops the administration from implementing the order as planned on Sunday. Trump’s proclamation applied to those who apply for immigrant visas abroad and do not have health insurance set up within a month after their entry or the financial means to pay for medical costs.
“Today’s decision highlights the urgency of blocking this health care ban before it causes irreparable damage to our community and those we serve,” said Carmen Rubio, executive director of Latino Network, a plaintiff in the case. “We know that our fight is far from over, we will be steadfast in our work to ensure that we end family separation, ensure the dignity and rights of our community are respected, and hold this administration accountable to our nation’s constitution.”
The judge is expected to hear the full merits of the case in the near future.
Trump’s proclamation cited the same provision of law he used in the 2017 travel ban to block people from coming into the US from certain countries and a later ban on asylum-seekers who crossed into the country without authorization. It was set to apply to US citizens' foreign national spouses who want to live in the country.
The proclamation would not impact refugees, asylees, children of US citizens abroad, those who already have been issued immigrant visas, and those who helped the US government in Afghanistan.
“We applaud the court’s ruling; countless thousands across the country can breathe a sigh of relief today because the court recognized the urgent and irreparable harm that would have been inflicted in the absence of a TRO,” said Jesse Bless, an attorney on the case and director of federal litigation at the American Immigration Lawyers Association. “This proclamation would permanently separate families and damage employers; it is a clear violation of the constitution. The president simply does not have the authority to rewrite the law by proclamation.”