November 5th, 2019
Federal Judge Blocks Trump Administration’s Health Insurance Requirement
On Saturday, November 2, 2019, Federal District Judge Michael Simon granted a temporary restraining order that prevents the government from implementing President Donald Trump’s October proclamation requiring immigrants to show proof of health insurance. The order would have taken effect on November 3, 2019, and would require immigrants to prove that they are covered by health insurance within 30 days of entering the U.S. or have enough financial resources to pay for any medical costs, or else they would be barred from entering the country. The proclamation also required even those who qualified for a federal tax subsidy to reject the option, despite there not being a mechanism on the federal health exchange website to do so.
The measure would have had a significant impact on the estimated 1.1 million people who seek to obtain green cards each year. The proclamation would only apply to people seeking immigrant visas from abroad — not those in the U.S. already. It would not apply to individuals who are lawful permanent residents, asylum-seekers, refugees or children.
Jesse Bless, director of federal litigation at the American Immigration Lawyers Association said that, “[c]ountless 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” without the temporary restraining order.