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Family Immigration

Litigation Update: Presidential Proclamation Requiring Health Insurance

On Oct. 4, 2019, President Trump issued a proclamation suspending issuance of immigrant visas to applicants who lack either U.S. health insurance or substantial assets to cover their health expenses. For a summary, see our firm’s client alert.

On May 4, 2020, the Federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit refused to stay a preliminary injunction stopping the government from implementing the policy. As a result, the injunction will remain in place until the district court case is decided on its merits. For now the State Department can’t require condition immigrant visa issuance on the applicant’s purchase of health insurance. But the Trump Administration is expected to appeal the Ninth Circuit’s ruling.

History of the litigation:

  • On. Nov. 2, 2019, the U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon, in the case of Doe v. Trump issued a month-long temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping the federal government from implementing the policy.
  • Then, on Nov. 26, 2019, the district court issued a preliminary injunction stopping the government from implementing the policy until the case is decided on its merits.
  • On Dec. 20, 2019, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit voted 2-1 to deny the government’s emergency request for a stay of the district court’s order. The Ninth Circuit panel has scheduled argument on January 9, 2020, to consider the government’s non-emergency request for a stay.

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