Washington — A federal judge in Oregon blocked the Trump administration from enforcing a sweeping plan to deny visas to would-be immigrants based on their inability to show they could pay for health insurance or medical costs in the U.S.
Through a temporary restraining order, Judge Michael Simon of the U.S. District Court in Oregon blocked the policy hours before it was set to take effect on Sunday. According to an estimate by the non-partisan Migration Policy Institute, the new requirements could bar up to 375,000 prospective legal immigrants from moving to the U.S. each year.
“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,” Jesse Bless, director of federal litigation at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), said in a statement.
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Earlier in the week, AILA, Innovation Law Lab and the Justice Action Center mounted the first legal challenge to the policy, which was rolled out last month. The groups accused the administration of trying to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws without Congress. They said the policy would inflict irreparable harm on the plaintiffs, who are U.S. citizens sponsoring visas for family members abroad. Those family members could have been denied entry into the U.S. under the new requirements.