Court Upholds Coronavirus Immigration Ban
On Wednesday, US District Judge Michael Simon refused to suspend President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily suspending green cards. The same judge previously ruled against the administration on a policy that would deny visas to people who can’t pay their own medical costs.
Late at night on April 20, the President sent out a tweet that created a lot of confusion and uncertainty among the immigrant community: In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!
While panic ensued, the proclamation that came to be was much more relaxed than the tweet suggested. The proclamation, which expires 60 days from the effective date (April 23, 2020), suspends the entry of any individual seeking to enter the US as an immigrant who:
- Is outside the United States on the effective date of the proclamation;
- Does not have a valid immigrant visa; and
- Does not have a valid official travel document (such as a transportation letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole document) that permits travel to the United States to seek entry or admission.
There are also several exemptions to the rule. For example, the proclamation does not apply to individuals, and their spouses or children, seeking to enter the US on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional. It is estimated that the proclamation will block 26,000 green cards per month.
While the rule was far less reaching than expected, there was still a swift legal challenge. A class action (plaintiffs include the Innovation Law Lab and the American Immigration Lawyers Association) was initiated challenging the green card ban. The plaintiffs argued that a temporary restraining order was warranted under the All Writs Act as there was a nexus between the new green card ban and the health care mandate that the judge previously ruled on. However, Judge Simon disagreed finding that the two were completely unrelated.
Just because the Court issued orders based on a complaint relating to the processing of immigrant visa applications, that does not mean that the Court has the authority under the All Writs Act to stop enforcement of every immigration-related executive order (or other action) that might affect members of the certified class. – Judge Simon
As such, the green card ban remains in place for 60 days. Furthermore, the borders remain limited to essential travel despite most states reopening. Over the next week, 31 states will reopen. To date, over 1 million Americans have tested positive for Covid-19 according to Johns Hopkins University.
The green card ban is not the only immigration case making headlines. The Supreme Court is preparing to rule on Trump’s decision to terminate the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. A decision is expected by the end of June. Currently, there are approximately 650,000 people enrolled in DACA.
As always, Silver Immigration will be following these cases and providing updates as they come to help you stay informed!