A U.S. district judge in Oregon declined late Wednesday to block a White House plan to suspend immigration visas for children of permanent migrant residents due to the coronavirus crisis.
Judge Michael H. Simon ruled against an emergency motion seeking the injunction, saying the plaintiffs — the Innovation Law Lab, Justice Action Center and American Immigration Lawyers Association — failed to make their case.
The regulation suspends visas for 60 days for undocumented children of migrants who are now permanent U.S. residents. The rule is part of a larger plan President Donald Trump announced a week ago barring certain migrants from U.S. entry as a means to protect the economy from fallout created by the coronavirus pandemic.
“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 … to stop enforcement of every immigration-related executive order,” Simon wrote.
The same judge sided with the plaintiffs last fall by blocking a Trump order to deny migrants visas unless they buy health insurance or demonstrate they can cover medical costs. In that case, Simon said the rule prevented poor migrants from entering the United States and was a violation of U.S. law. In this case, he said plaintiffs failed to show a connection between the two orders.
Esther Sung, senior attorney for the Justice Action Center, said the new order is a “Trojan horse” to force through elements of his immigration policies that have stalled in federal courts.
“The reality is that our economic recovery will depend on immigrants,” Sung said in a statement last week.”It’s yet another attempt from the administration to bypass Congress and unconstitutionally obliterate our nation’s longstanding, family-based immigration system.”
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