(CN) — The Ninth Circuit on Thursday lifted a ban on President Donald Trump’s proclamation that bars entry to immigrants without health insurance or the means to pay for hospital bills.
In a 2-1 decision penned by U.S. Circuit Judge Daniel Collins, a Trump appointee, the appellate court ruled that the proclamation was within the president’s authority and reversed a federal court decision to block implementation of the order.
Seven U.S. citizens sued the government after Trump issued the proclamation in October 2019, claiming that it unfairly prevented their family members from immigrating into the country.
In November 2019, U.S. District Judge Michael Simon of the District of Oregon issued a nationwide preliminary injunction of Trump’s proclamation while the lawsuit continued, saying it was likely illegal since it would separate family members.
Collins made reference to Trump v. Hawaii, the Supreme Court case that found the president has the authority to add immigration restrictions so long as they do not contradict established law.
“Nothing in Trump v. Hawaii requires a bright-line trigger for terminating additional restrictions that have been imposed under § 212(f) [of the Immigration and Nationality Act],” Collins wrote.
The panel found that the proclamation did not conflict with the statutes under the INA.
U.S. Circuit Judge A. Wallace Tashima, a Bill Clinton appointee authored a 15-page dissent. Tashima, who was imprisoned as a child in a WWII-era Japanese internment camp, said he agreed with the district court ruling.
“The Proclamation overrides both the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), which makes recently arrived lawful immigrants eligible for subsidized health insurance plans… and the public charge rule of the Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”), which comprehensively addresses the circumstances under which individuals may be excluded from this country due to their limited financial means or the financial burdens they will place on others,” he wrote.
Tashima wrote that the proclamation “has no nexus to national security, addresses a purely domestic concern (uncompensated health care costs), lacks any conceivable temporal limit, and works a major overhaul of this nation’s immigration laws without the input of Congress — a sweeping and unprecedented exercise of unilateral Executive power.”
“It strains credulity to suggest that Congress intended to authorize the President to undermine its own policy judgments,” he wrote.