AILA Quicktake #276: AILA and Partners Join Forces to Litigate Health Insurance Proclamation

AILA joins litigators from the Justice Action Center (JAC), and the Innovation Law Lab, with Sidley Austin LLP providing pro bono assistance, to file suit in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon to halt implementation of the administration’s health care ban for immigrants, announced via presidential proclamation on October 4, 2019. AILA’s Director of Federal Litigation Jesse Bless explains how and why AILA fights against this proclamation.


Video Transcript

0:00:04.980–0:00:07.780
On October 4th, late at night at Friday night,
0:00:07.780–0:00:10.100
the President issued a new proclamation
0:00:10.100–0:00:14.480
targeting those who apply for visas abroad. Immigrant visas.
0:00:14.480–0:00:18.920
And what he requires now is that immigrant visas show up with proof
0:00:18.920–0:00:21.420
that they can obtain insurance within 30 days,
0:00:21.420–0:00:26.040
and if they cannot show that, prove that they have the financial ability
0:00:26.040–0:00:31.640
to pay for foreseeable medical costs upon their arrival.
0:00:31.640–0:00:35.940
The vague and opaque language in the proclamation has left many concerned,
0:00:35.940–0:00:40.560
and we share that concern with our membership and our viewership.
0:00:40.560–0:00:45.600
Now, the agencies have taken no steps to help guide us
0:00:45.600–0:00:49.460
on the effective date which is November 3rd, a Sunday,
0:00:49.460–0:00:55.520
and it will apply to anyone applying for an immigrant visa on or after that date.
0:00:55.520–0:01:00.360
Obviously there are many people in the United States
0:01:00.360–0:01:02.335
leaving for interviews in November and those who are abroad,
0:01:02.340–0:01:06.440
separate from their families or soon to be separate from their families
0:01:06.440–0:01:11.500
who honestly cannot make heads or tails of what is required to show them
0:01:11.500–0:01:17.420
and if so how they can stay united with their family.
0:01:17.420–0:01:21.280
One of the most problematic aspects of the proclamation
0:01:21.280–0:01:26.880
is that if forbids anyone to obtain subsidized insurance and in fact
0:01:26.880–0:01:31.400
lays out amorphous categories of what the president considers
0:01:31.400–0:01:34.560
approved health insurance.
0:01:41.340–0:01:46.260
Let me tell you what we're doing at AILA to combat the presidential proclamation.
0:01:46.260–0:01:49.040
We've joined forces with the Justice Action Center,
0:01:49.040–0:01:54.930
the law firm of Sibley Austin, and the Portland based Innovation Law Labs
0:01:54.930–0:01:59.040
to file a complaint in the district of Oregon Federal Court,
0:01:59.040–0:02:02.900
challenging the lawfulness of the president's action.
0:02:02.900–0:02:06.920
We have many great individual plaintiffs and an organizational plaintiff
0:02:06.920–0:02:10.300
who will be severely affected
0:02:10.300–0:02:13.000
and separated from their hard-working family members.
0:02:13.000–0:02:14.540
They've done nothing wrong.
0:02:14.540–0:02:18.280
And they deserve to have their immigrant visas approved,
0:02:18.280–0:02:23.100
and not have their community ripped apart due to Presidential fiat.
0:02:27.840–0:02:30.939
One of our plaintiffs is a United States citizen man,
0:02:30.940–0:02:34.220
who goes to work every day to raise his son.
0:02:34.220–0:02:36.860
His wife remains in Mexico,
0:02:36.860–0:02:40.500
And has waited years for a chance at an immigrant visa.
0:02:40.500–0:02:44.500
She has her interview scheduled for November 6.
0:02:44.500–0:02:45.960
Our plaintiff is disabled and
0:02:45.960–0:02:50.520
relies on subsidized health insurance which he pays for,
0:02:50.520–0:02:54.640
and now he faces the daunting prospect of being unable to bring his wife here.
0:02:54.640–0:02:57.200
Simply because of the president's Proclamation.
0:02:57.200–0:03:00.040
We're excited to have a great team working on this.
0:03:00.040–0:03:02.840
It'll be a long fight but it's a worthy fight.
0:03:02.840–0:03:04.460
Because hard-working families
0:03:04.460–0:03:08.800
who meet the statutory requirements set out by Congress
0:03:08.800–0:03:12.760
deserve their immigrant visa and do not deserve to live
0:03:12.760–0:03:16.420
separately and apart from their family members here in the United States.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 19103091.