Predictably, the “Presidential Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry of Immigrants Who Will Financially Burden the United States Healthcare System” has been blocked from going into effect for the time being. The U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon, in Doe v. Trump, issued a 28-day temporary restraining order (TRO) in an unusual weekend session just before the proclamation was to go into effect on November 3, 2019.

The case, brought by a coalition of civil rights organizations, challenged the requirement that any foreign nationals seeking to enter the U.S. on an immigrant visa (as a Legal Permanent Resident or “Green Card” holder) must show to a Consular Officer’s satisfaction that they will be covered by an approved health insurance program within 30 days of entry or that they possess “the financial resources to pay for reasonably foreseeable medical costs.”

The plaintiffs challenged the Proclamation as “arbitrary, an ‘abuse of discretion’ and discriminatory.”

Judge Michael H. Simon was swayed by the plaintiffs’ arguments and decided that there would be irreparable harm if the Proclamation went into effect. He agreed to “‘freeze things the way they are’” for a determination on the merits. He set the hearing on a preliminary injunction for November 22, 2019.

An American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) representative stated: “‘We applaud the court’s ruling; countless thousands across the country can breathe a sign of relief today because the court recognized the urgent and irreparable harm that would have been inflicted in the absence of a TRO. This proclamation would permanently separate families and damage employers . . . . ’”

Jackson Lewis will continue to follow this case and provide updates as they become available.