Averting a Roadblock to Legal Immigration
Political Asylum and Immigrants’ Rights Project / Averting a Roadblock to Legal Immigration
On April 7, 2020, a team of Sidley lawyers 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 obtained certification of a class of U.S. citizens and foreign nationals challenging President Donald Trump over his attempt to enact a Presidential Proclamation that would bar immigrants unable to demonstrate 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.” On October 4, 2019, the President issued Proclamation No. 9945, which 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. On the afternoon of November 2, U.S. District Judge Michael Simon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon entered a nationwide temporary restraining order, enjoining the government from taking any action to implement or enforce the Proclamation for 28 days, and on November 26, 2019, granted plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunction, extending the hold on the Proclamation’s implementation. The April 7 order granted plaintiffs’ motion for certification, certifying two subclasses of current and future immigrants and their family members. This important ruling builds on the team’s previous success in halting the Proclamation and ensures that immigrants and family members in danger of harm from the Proclamation will be afforded rights as certified class members under Federal Rule 23 as they proceed toward resolution of the case on the merits.
“We absolutely could not have secured the wins that we have — allowing at least 70,000 families to secure visas — without the partnership of the Sidley team. Because of their help, we have been able to ensure that families can be reunited and employers can have the benefit of valuable employees who have cleared all the hurdles to securing green cards.”
– Karen Tumlin, Founder & Director, Justice Action Center