A federal judge in Portland, Oregon, has put on hold a Trump administration rule requiring immigrants to prove they will have health insurance or can pay for medical care before they can get visas. According to a report in The Guardian, US District Judge Michael Simon granted a temporary restraining order that prevented the rule from going into effect last weekend. It was not clear when he would rule on the merits of the case.
Seven US citizens and a non-profit organisation filed the federal lawsuit last week, contending the rule would block nearly two-thirds of all prospective legal immigrants. The lawsuit also said the rule would greatly reduce or eliminate the number of immigrants who enter the US with family sponsored visas. Justice Action Centre senior litigator Esther Sung, who argued at a hearing on Saturday on behalf of the plaintiffs, said: ‘The ban would separate families and cut two-thirds of green-card-based immigration starting tonight, were it not stopped.’
The proclamation signed by Donald Trump in early October applies to people seeking immigrant visas from abroad, not those in the US already. It does not affect lawful permanent residents. It does not apply to asylum seekers, refugees or children. The administration this year made sweeping changes to regulations that would deny green cards to immigrants who use some forms of public assistance, but the courts have blocked that measure.
“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,” said Jesse Bless, director of federal litigation at the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Earlier this year, the administration made sweeping changes to regulations that would deny green cards to immigrants who use some forms of public assistance, but the courts have blocked that measure.
[link url="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/03/judge-trump-immigrants-healthcare"]The Guardian report[/link]