The federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has allowed a proclamation by President Donald Trump blocking immigrants without health insurance to take effect, throwing out a lower court’s order that stopped it from being implemented.
A three-judge panel ruled Thursday that Trump was within his authority to bar anyone without insurance from entering the country, overruling the decision by Barack Obama-appointed Judge Michael H. Simon that doing so was likely illegal because it would separate family members.
Seven American citizens filed a lawsuit after Trump issued his proclamation in October 2019, claiming it unfairly prevented their family members from entering the United States.
Writing for the three-judge panel, Trump-appointed Judge Daniel Collins referred to the 2018 Supreme Court ruling in Trump v. Hawaii which the president had the authority to bar people from several nations, in this case predominantly Muslim countries, or refugees without valid travel documents from entering the United States.
It added that the president had the authority to add immigrations restrictions so long as they didn’t contradict current law.
”Nothing in Trump v. Hawaii requires a bright-line trigger for terminating additional restrictions that have been imposed under (section) 212(f) (of the Immigration and Nationality Act),” Collins wrote.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the decision could affect as many as 375,000 people a year.
The ruling comes following another ruling by the 9th Circuit in December, this one written by Jimmy Carter appointee Mary Schroeder, that blocked a Trump-administration regulation that could deny resident alien status, or green card, to anyone who receives public assistance for 12 months over a three-year period.