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Lawsuit filed to halt Trump immigration order

Several pro-immigration groups have asked a federal judge for a temporary restraining order on President Trump's April 22 proclamation that seeks to prevent American citizens from sponsoring family members for immigration.

The lawsuit was filed to stop potential harm to families, especially those with children who could fail to meet age requirements included in the immigration process, effectively aging them out of the system.

Lawsuit seeks to help immigrant families reunite

The lawsuit was filed by the Justice Action Center, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and Innovation Law Lab. The groups say the order came without warning, eliminating emergency and urgent visa services that are available to keep children from aging out of the system.

The lawsuit says the order, by suspending the entrance of immigrants in the U.S., could result in serious harm to immigrant families, many who have waited years for the opportunity to be reunited, only to see that chance ripped away by the administration.

Previous Trump effort blocked

The newly filed lawsuit is an extension of an earlier effort, in which a federal judge blocked a previous presidential order seeking to bar immigrants from entering the U.S. unless they possessed health insurance or were able to prove they could afford unsubsidized coverage.

The judge suspended the presidential proclamation, saying that an entire class of people would be negatively impacted. That certification was seen as an important step by attorneys arguing against the order. Oral arguments were scheduled to be heard April 29 before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Analysis critical of Trump's timing with immigration policy

The president's April 22 order is nearly identical to a White House-backed bill that was soundly defeated by the Senate in February of 2018. That bill would have ended the Diversity Visa lottery as well as the rights of U.S. citizens to sponsor immigrant children, siblings and parents.

Critics say the administration is using the coronavirus pandemic to accomplish what it could not do through legislation. Trump claimed, in a tweet, that the restrictions were necessary to combat higher unemployment. However, the jobless rate was only 4.1% in 2018 when the administration was unsuccessful in stopping immigrants from entering the country.

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