Illinois Leads Coalition of AGs in Support of Temporary Restraining Order Blocking Revised Travel Ban
Chicago —(ENEWSPF)—March 14, 2017. Attorney General Lisa Madigan today led a coalition of attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in the District Court for Hawaii supporting the state of Hawaii’s motion for a temporary restraining order enjoining the enforcement of the revised Executive Order on immigration issued last week. Madigan and the attorneys general argue the revised travel ban retains unconstitutional components of the original order, including a broad ban on entry to the country by nationals of several predominantly Muslim countries and a complete suspension of the refugee program.
“The changes to the travel ban do not alter the fact that this executive action is discriminatory and contrary to the founding principles of our country,” Madigan said. “I remain committed to protecting all of the residents of Illinois and our educational institutions and employers from the harm caused by this executive action.”
In the brief filed today, Madigan and the states argue the Executive Order has caused serious harm to individuals who live, work, and study in their states, as well as their families, communities, and the institutions and businesses that employ and educate them.
In part, the brief states:
“Although the revised Order is narrower in some respects than the initial Order, it retains the two essential pillars of that Order: a sweeping ban on entry to the United States by nationals of several predominantly Muslim countries and a complete suspension of the refugee program. If allowed to go into effect, the revised Order will immediately harm the amici States’ proprietary, quasi-sovereign, and sovereign interests. It will inhibit the free exchange of information, ideas, and talent between the six designated countries and the States, including at the States’ many educational institutions; harm the States’ life sciences, technology, health care, finance, and tourism industries, as well as innumerable other small and large businesses throughout the States; inflict economic damage on the States themselves through both increased costs and immediately diminished tax revenues; and hinder the States from effectuating the policies of religious tolerance and nondiscrimination enshrined in our laws and state constitutions.”
The amicus brief highlights that the initial Executive Order has already caused concrete irreparable harm to the states’ residents, institutions and businesses, and the revised version will continue to harm the states. Specifically, the states argue that the order harms state colleges and universities by creating staffing gaps, precluding students’ attendance, and imposing additional costs and administrative burdens; disrupts staffing and research at state medical institutions; and reduces tax revenues and broadly harms the states’ economies.
Attorneys general have been at the forefront of the opposition to the executive action on immigration. Madigan condemned the initial Executive Order as unconstitutional, unlawful and un-American and filed amicus briefs in support of previous legal challenges to that order brought by Washington, Virginia and New York.
Last month, Madigan held a summit with local civil rights leaders on immigration and hate crimes in light of the federal executive actions on immigration. She also issued a letter to Illinois Governor Rauner urging him and his administration to fight both the immigration ban Executive Order and protect Illinois immigrants and refugees from discrimination and hate crimes, and a separate Executive Order stating that sanctuary jurisdictions are not eligible to receive certain federal grants. As immigrants and refugees seek out information and help in response to the Executive Orders, Madigan also issued advice about the possibility of scam artists and unscrupulous immigration services providers unlawfully posing as lawyers or demanding excessive upfront fees for assistance.
Joining Madigan in filing the amicus brief are the attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
The full amicus brief is available here.
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