AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

Civil Rights Coalition Welcomes Rescission of Trump’s Illegal Healthcare Ban

5/14/21 AILA Doc. No. 21051401. Admissions & Border, Consular Processing

Press Contacts

Justice Action Center: Adela de la Torre,
American Immigration Lawyers Association: Belle Woods,
Innovation Law Lab: Alex Mensing,
Sidley: Janice Lippman,
LatinoNetwork: Martina Bialek,

May 14, 2021 – Today, litigators from the Justice Action Center (JAC), the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and the Innovation Law Lab, with Sidley Austin LLP providing pro bono assistance, welcomed the rescission of President Trump’s long-enjoined Healthcare Insurance Ban. The litigation partners had successfully sued to halt the ban for immigrants, announced via presidential proclamation on October 4, 2019.

The case, Doe vs. Trump, blocked the federal government’s efforts to separate immigrants from their family members on the basis of wealth, health or status. The unprecedented scope and impact of the proclamation threatened to inflict irreparable harm on hundreds of thousands of people, including U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents. The healthcare ban was intended to cruelly and permanently separate families and force employers to lose essential employees much in the same way as the administration’s efforts to create a new public charge rule.

Plaintiffs included the Portland, Oregon-based organizational plaintiff Latino Network, as well as several individual plaintiffs.

Esther Sung, Legal Director of the Justice Action Center (JAC), co-counsel to the case, said “This ban masqueraded as a health issue, but was really only designed to keep immigrants from being able to reunite with their families in the United States. This policy undermined our public health system, and we’re grateful to our plaintiffs for their leadership in preventing it from ever taking effect. The Biden administration made the right move in striking the ban today.”

Jesse Bless, Director of Federal Litigation for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) noted, “The ban reflects the deep-seated xenophobic voice of the prior administration and caused harm to U.S. citizens who believed they might never be able to reunite in person with their loved ones eligible for green cards under the law. It is a huge relief that this cruel attempt to separate families and undermine due process has been rescinded. This ban was un-American when conceived, and with this repeal America can continue to build back better.”

Stephen Manning, Executive Director of Innovation Law Lab. “We are proud that members of our Oregon community - from immigrant Oregonians to our immigrant and disability rights groups and our state attorney general - stood together against Trump’s racist attacks on immigrants, their families and their healthcare throughout this legal challenge. We urge the Biden administration to continue reversing anti-immigrant policies and build new systems of inclusion to guarantee the rights of all people.”

Kevin Fee, partner, Sidley Austin LLP. “Sidley applauds the administration’s decision to rescind a discriminatory ban that was unlawful and contrary to our national values. We are grateful to the plaintiffs and our partners in this litigation for their efforts toward vindicating the rights of immigrants and their families.”

Tony DeFalco, Executive Director of Latino Network, a plaintiff in the case said, “We applaud the Biden administration’s decision to rescind this discriminatory ban imposed by the previous administration. While this is an important step toward restoring our community’s ability to safely access healthcare, the administration must follow through with consistent and sustained messaging to our communities to reverse the years-long damage that was done. Our fight is far from over, and we will be steadfast in holding our country’s leadership accountable to ensure that our community’s needs are being met.”