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Judge refuses to dam Trump's coronavirus green card freeze


A federal judge in Oregon who previously blocked President Trump’s order to bar immigrants who lacked or couldn't afford insurance refused to try to to an equivalent with reference to Trump’s recent pause on green cards.


The same plaintiffs who got U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon to issue a short lived injunction last fall sought an identical injunction against the coronavirus-related order Trump issued last week, a minimum of when it involves children of permanent residents who are likely to show 21 and lose child status while the new ban is in effect. Simon said he couldn't do that because Trump’s new order has nothing to try to to with the first case.


“The April 22nd Proclamation is totally unrelated to the October 4th Proclamation,” Simon said during a Wednesday order, rejecting the plaintiffs’ suggestion that the All Writs Act of 1789 gives him broad authority to require action regarding any immigration executive orders, not just the one at the middle of their initial lawsuit. “Simply because the April 22nd Proclamation may preclude or delay the processing of immigrant visa applications is just too attenuated from the allegations within the First Amended class-action suit Complaint to support a unprecedented writ under the All Writs Act.”

Trump’s latest order placed a 60-day ban on green cards, and therefore the immigrants who brought the class-action lawsuit within the fall claimed that class members who are turning 21 during that point are going to be bereft of preferential status that might allow their applications to be processed more swiftly.

Simon recognized the plaintiffs’ concern that Trump’s latest order could end in some people having the processing of their applications delayed indefinitely, but said that alone wasn't enough to dam any order.


“For example,” the judge wrote, “if the President received reliable intelligence that an immigrant from a particular country was getting to bring a unclean bomb into the us and therefore the President issued an executive order temporarily stopping the processing of all immigrant visa applicants from that country, such an executive order might prevent potential Visa Applicant Subclass members from that country from receiving the advantage of the Court’s orders.”

Simon went on to mention there are many other potential situations where an executive order associated with immigration that's supported national security would impact visa applicants that don't have anything to try to to with the plaintiffs’ case, which is predicated on insurance .

“Just because the Court issued orders supported a complaint concerning the processing of immigrant visa applications,” Simon said, “that doesn't mean that the Court has the authority under the All Writs Act to prevent enforcement of each immigration-related executive order (or other action) which may affect members of the certified class.”


Trump initially suggested a more far-reaching immigration freeze. His proclamation, titled “Suspension of Entry of Immigrants Who Present a Risk to the us market During the Economic Recovery Following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Outbreak,” noted that a rise in lawful permanent residents would end in added competition for jobs after many Americans have filed for unemployment during the depression caused by the pandemic.

Judge Simon stated that if visa application wait times are "unreasonably constricted" by Trump's order, "that may be a matter for Congress to repair , not the courts."

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