Immigration Ban Challenged in DC

Press Releases

June 15, 2020

IRLI defends President’s response to economic crisis

WASHINGTON—Friday evening, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a fast-moving case in DC federal district court in which the plaintiffs are suing to block President Trump’s proclamation suspending the issuance of green cards in U.S. consulates abroad. Plaintiffs, U.S. resident green card holders who left their children behind to come to the United States, say that Trump’s action will make their children wait far longer than they otherwise would have had to wait to join their parents here. 

Plaintiffs argue that, since green cards are not being issued abroad now, plaintiffs’ children who are very close to turning 21 will “age out” of their current green card line and join a much longer line of adult green card applicants—greatly increasing their wait to come to the U.S.

In its brief, IRLI points out that the President’s proclamation was in response to the plunge in U.S. employment due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, and that no law makes that response invalid merely because it has the side-effect of making plaintiffs’ children who are very near 21 wait longer for green cards. Indeed, even as the proclamation has that side-effect, it also makes it more likely that younger children of U.S. resident green card holders will get green cards, because green card slots will be opened up for them by those who “age out.” Because of this conflict of interest, IRLI argues, parents of younger and older children of U.S. resident green card holders, contrary to plaintiffs’ proposal, should not be included in the same class action.

“The President has full power under our immigration laws to suspend the entry of aliens in the national interest,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “Here, he has done so in response to a national employment emergency of immense proportions. We hope the court will see that no law invalidates his action, and will uphold his authority in this vital area.”

The case is Gomez v. Trump, No. 1:20-cv-01419 (D.D.C.).

For additional information, contact:

Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • blonergan@irli.org

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