Politics

White House Derides Oregon Judge For Halting Trump’s Immigrant Health Care Rule

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Amber Athey White House Correspondent
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The White House is promising to challenge a federal court ruling that blocked President Donald Trump’s proclamation prohibiting immigrants who cannot afford to purchase health insurance.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon in Oregon issued an order on Tuesday to halt the executive action, which was introduced by Trump in early October. The proclamation would have required green card applicants to the U.S. to prove that they can obtain health insurance within 30 days of entering the country or are otherwise able to afford their own insurance.

Simon, an Obama appointee, initially issued a temporary restraining order against the mandate on November 3, the day it was set to take effect. The judge claimed that the order is unlawful because “the president offers no national security or foreign relations justification for this sweeping change in immigration law.” (RELATED: Obama-Appointed Judge Blocks Trump’s Health Care Rule For Immigrants)

The White House responded to the court’s decision in a Wednesday statement from press secretary Stephanie Grisham, accusing the judge of “[deciding] immigration policy for the Nation.”

Grisham pointed to the Immigration and Nationality Act as justification for the president’s mandate, which states, “Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

Grisham also cited last year’s Supreme Court decision on the travel ban against immigrants from certain countries, which upheld the president’s “broad discretion” in making immigration policy.

“The district court’s decision enjoining the proclamation disregards the statute’s text, in violation of the Supreme Court’s decision,” Grisham said. “We look forward to defending the President’s lawful action.”

The mandate against immigrants who cannot afford health insurance is the latest in a series of White House immigration policies aimed at preventing non-citizens from over-utilizing public benefits.