An appeals court on Monday blocked the Trump administration’s request to allow for a ban on immigrants who don’t have health care or otherwise cannot afford health care expenses.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the White House’s motion for a stay of a court order that prevents the administration from enforcing its proclamation. The divided panel found that the administration does not have “limitless power” to deny immigrants based on their economic standing.
“[T]he government’s claim of harm in the form of costs to healthcare providers and taxpayers by uninsured immigrants was not supported by the record, and the court was not required to accept the Proclamation’s conclusory findings as true,” the 97-page ruling stated.
The appeals panel went on to say that the administration failed to demonstrate irreparable harm absent a stay and that harm is “purely monetary.”
As for the order itself, the panel deemed that the plaintiffs would likely succeed in their claim that the order conflicts with the Violence Against Women Act, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Obamacare, and the “public charge” provision within the INA.
The Trump administration first introduced the directive — Presidential Proclamation No. 9945, or the “Suspension of Entry of Immigrants Who Will Financially Burden the United States Health Care System” — in October 2019. The order would’ve essentially prohibited the entry of any immigrants applying for visas unless they prove they can obtain health insurance within 30 days of entering the U.S. or otherwise indicate they can afford their own medical care.
However, the order was immediately challenged in court by opponents of the president’s immigration agenda.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon in Oregon halted the executive order in November, and the administration has since tried to challenge the ruling.
However, the Ninth Circuit Court deemed Monday that the ruling would stay in place while the lawsuit plays out in court.
“[T]he panel concluded that the public interest lies with maintaining the status quo while the appeal is pending, explaining that for countless decades, a stable immigration system has provided for families to be united through a visa system that did not require purchase of selected insurance products,” the decision on Monday read. (RELATED: Judge Denies Request To Block Trump’s Freeze On Green Cards)
The panel was divided along ideological lines.
Chief Judge Sidney Thomas and Judge Marsha Berzon, both appointees of President Bill Clinton, wrote the majority opinion, and Judge Daniel Bress, a Trump appointee, wrote the dissent.
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