A federal judge in Portland, Oregon on Saturday put a temporary injunction on a Trump administration rule change on immigrants that was set to take effect on Sunday.
US District Judge Michael Simon granted a temporary restraining order that prevents the rule that required immigrants to prove they will have health insurance before they can get a visa.
Seven US citizens and Justice Action Center, a non-profit organization had filed the lawsuit in court, saying it would block nearly two-thirds of all would-be legal immigrants to the United States.
"We're very grateful that the court recognized the need to block the health care ban immediately... The ban would separate families and cut two-thirds of green-card-based immigration starting tonight, were the ban not stopped,” said Justice Action Center senior litigator Esther Sung, who argued at Saturday's hearing on behalf of the plaintiffs.
The rule change was announced in a proclamation signed by President Donald Trump in early October. Under the rule change, those applying for immigrant visas from abroad would be required to prove they will have health insurance within 30 days of arriving in the US, or that they have enough financial resource to pay for their own unforeseen medical costs before being granted a visa.
The rule applied to individuals applying for immigrant visa from abroad - those applying from within the US were exempt. Also exempt were parents of US citizens.
Judge Simon will rule on the merits of the case on a later date yet to be set. In the meantime, those applying for immigrant visas such as green cards from abroad will not need to prove to consular officers that they will have health insurance soon after arrival to the US.