Innovation Law Lab, together with Justice Action Center (JAC) and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), with pro bono counsel Sidley Austin LLP and Latino Network as organizational plaintiff, sued the Trump Administration challenging the President’s Proclamation banning immigrant visa applicants from entering the United States based on their inability to pay their healthcare costs out of pocket. As a result of the lawsuit, a federal district court in Oregon has prohibited the Administration from implementing the Proclamation at consular offices worldwide. The district court’s order is currently on appeal.
On October 4, 2019, President Trump signed a proclamation barring qualified immigrants from receiving visas unless they can prove that they will be covered by an “approved” health insurance plan within 30 days of entering the United States or are wealthy enough to pay out of pocket for “reasonably foreseeable medical costs.” The President’s Proclamation limits the type of “approved” health insurance plans available to visa applicants to plans for which many immigrants do not quality, that are unavailable in large states like California and New York, and that may be impossible to obtain within 30 days of entry. The Proclamation was scheduled to take effect on November 3, 2019.
Law Lab, JAC, AILA, and Sidley Austin sued the Administration, alleging, among other things, that the Proclamation undermines bedrock separation-of-powers principles enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and contravenes the purposes of our federal immigration laws, which are intended to reunify families and promote diversity. On November 2, 2019, an Oregon federal district court agreed and issued an emergency order halting implementation of the Proclamation. That order was later converted to a preliminary injunction, which is now on appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On April 7, 2020, the Oregon federal district court certified the case as a class action, including both individuals in the United States who have an approved or pending petition to sponsor a noncitizen family member, and individuals outside the United States who have applied or soon will apply for an immigrant visa.