A team of Sidley lawyers and staff from Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., working with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the Justice Action Center (JAC) and the Innovation Law Lab, successfully halted implementation of the administration’s attempt to ban immigrants based solely on their ability to obtain health insurance.
On October 4, 2019, the President issued Proclamation No. 9945, which would bar immigrants unable to demonstrate to a consular officer that they would be covered by “approved health insurance” in the United States within 30 days of entry, or that they have sufficient wealth to pay for “reasonably foreseeable medical costs.” The Proclamation was expected to affect as many as two-thirds of future immigrants applying for visas to enter the United States, disproportionately impacting immigrants from Latin America, Africa and Asia. Despite providing little explanation for the procedure that would govern adjudication of the complex questions its restrictions raise, and almost no opportunity for notice and comment, the Proclamation was set to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on the morning of November 3.
Our Sidley team worked with our organizational partners to draft a putative class action complaint asserting constitutional, ultra vires and Administrative Procedures Act claims on behalf of a group of immigrants and their family members - along with supporting factual material and a motion for Temporary Restraining Order - in the span of less than a week. At a hearing before the District of Oregon on Saturday afternoon, November 2, Judge Simon issued a nationwide TRO enjoining the government from taking any action to implement or enforce the Proclamation for 28 days. On November 26, 2019, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction, extending the hold on the Proclamation’s implementation. The parties are now proceeding toward litigation on the merits. Sidley’s team included Scott Stein, Kevin Fee, Stephanie Hales, Marketa Lindt, Howard Stanislawski, Kelly Huggins, Naomi Igra, Daniel Craig, Nick Tygesson, Karim Basaria, Benjamin Gillig, Andy Rodheim, Teresa Reuter, David Diorio, Orlando Cosme Jr., Daniel Cohen, Kelsey Annu-Essuman, Alyssa Lattner, John Gibbons, Jr., Thomas Berninzoni, Angela Scola, Joseph Christensen and Andrew Watkins.