Federal judge blocks Trump order barring immigrants without health insurance
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A Trump administration order requiring immigrants to prove that they have health insurance or can pay for medical care before they are issued visas was blocked by a federal judge Saturday.
Judge Michael Simon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon issued a temporary restraining order to prevent President Donald Trump’s Oct. 4 proclamation—which requires that immigrants demonstrate that they have or can obtain insurance within 30 days of arriving in the United States—from going into effect over the weekend. It will remain in place for 28 days, while the plaintiffs and the government prepare their arguments for the court.
The Justice Action Center, Innovation Law Lab and the American Immigration Lawyers Association argued that the Trump administration’s order was “plainly illegal” and would cause immediate and irreparable harm, the New York Times reports.
In the motion seeking the temporary restraining order, lawyers wrote: “This new requirement rewrites our immigration and health care laws.” They also said it would bar as many as 375,000 qualified immigrants each year.
The Trump administration contended in its proclamation that immigrants are “about three times more likely” than U.S. citizens to be uninsured and said they “should not further saddle our health care system, and subsequently American taxpayers, with higher costs.”
The White House condemned the judge’s ruling Sunday, arguing that Trump has the right to make changes to the country’s immigration policy.
In a statement provided to the Washington Post, press secretary Stephanie Grisham said: “It is wrong and unfair for a single district court judge to thwart the policies that the president determined would best protect the United States health care system.”
Federal judges also recently blocked a Trump administration order denying green cards to immigrants who need public benefits, such as food stamps or Medicaid.