Immigration Ban Under Assault

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April 29, 2020

IRLI steps in to protect President’s authority

WASHINGTON – Today the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a case that the alien and activist-organization plaintiffs have sought to transform into an attack on President Trump’s recent pause in the issuance of green cards abroad. Trump’s aim is to protect American workers from yet more foreign competition in a time of sky-high unemployment caused by the various coronavirus lockdowns.

The plaintiffs claim that the pause harms their rights as class members in the underlying lawsuit, which challenges another administration action barring green cards to aliens who cannot show that they have health insurance. The immigration pause means that aliens abroad who are almost 21, and waiting in line to be considered for green cards to join their green card-holding parents in the United States, run the risk of “aging out” of the line they are in and having to join another, longer green card line. The plaintiffs seek a temporary restraining order forcing the State Department to take steps to confer green cards on these aliens before they turn 21.

As IRLI points out in its brief, one of the glaring problems with this request is that the plaintiffs are not suing the State Department, so the court has no authority to order the relief they ask for. Second, the request pits some class members – those who are almost 21 – against younger ones who eventually will get the green cards that do not go to the older group because of the pause. This conflict of interest means that the two groups should not even have the same attorneys, or be making this motion as members of the same class.

“This motion for a temporary restraining order, and the briefing schedule the judge set, gave us only a few days to react,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “But it was important that we did, because this is the first assault – there will be more — on the President’s immigration pause, and it is vital to defend his authority to safeguard the interests of Americans in these tough times. And in light of the arguments we brought to the court’s attention, it would be a travesty if this motion were granted.”

The case is Doe v. Trump, No. 3:19-cv-01743 (D. Ore.).

For additional information, contact:

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

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