U.S. District Court Judge Michael Simon heard arguments Friday afternoon in downtown Portland about whether to continue to prevent a Trump administration rule that would require immigrants to have health care from going into effect.
Earlier this month, Simon blocked the presidential proclamation by issuing a temporary restraining order, which expires in a week. The rule will go into effect, unless Simon issues a preliminary injunction, the focus of Friday's hearing.
The rule would bar visa-seekers who can’t pay for their own health care within 30 days of entering the United States. It was an attempt by the Trump administration to reduce the number of low-income immigrants staying in the country.
Attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice argued against a preliminary injunction, saying the president is allowed to address what he sees as the harm of immigrants not having health care.
While attorneys for Portland-based Innovation Law Lab, and others, argued that President Trump's proclamation wasn't about health care, rather about about non-citizens being a financial burden to taxpayers. That's something, the Law Lab and others argued, Congress had already addressed.
Simon said he hadn't made a decision about whether to issue a preliminary injunction, but would in the next seven days, if not sooner.