Illinois and Massachusetts Lead Coalition of AGs in Support of Extending Temporary Restraining Order Blocking Unconstitutional Travel Ban
Chicago — (ENEWSPF)–February 17, 2017. Attorney General Lisa Madigan and 15 other attorneys general yesterday filed an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit against the Executive Order on immigration in the Eastern District of New York, which the State of New York has joined. The attorneys general support an extension of the temporary restraining order that blocked the unconstitutional immigration ban from being implemented nationwide. As a result of the executive action limiting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, as many as 100,000 visas were canceled.
“As the chief legal officer for one of the most diverse states in the nation, I am committed to protecting all of the residents of Illinois and our educational institutions and employers from the harm caused by this executive action,” Madigan said.
Attorneys general have been at the forefront of the opposition to the executive action on immigration. Today’s brief follows amicus briefs filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit supporting the Washington State lawsuit against the executive order and in the Eastern District of Virginia in support of Virginia’s lawsuit.
In the brief filed today, Madigan and the attorneys general urge the court to enter a preliminary injunction, because without continued relief from the Executive Order, the states will see a return of the chaos in airports as experienced the weekend following the issuance of the order. The states argue that without the extension of the current temporary restraining order, serious harms will continue to fall on the affected individuals who live, work, and study in their states, to their families and communities, and to the institutions and businesses that employ and educate them.
Part of the brief states: “The barred individuals include, among others, persons who have previously been granted valid U.S. visas that otherwise entitle them to work, study, and travel within the amici States. In addition to harming such individuals, the Executive Order also inhibits the free exchange of information, ideas, and talent between the seven designated countries and the amici States.”
The amicus brief highlights that the Executive Order has already caused concrete irreparable harms to the states’ residents, institutions, and businesses. Specifically, the states argue that the order harmed state colleges and universities, creating staffing gaps, precluding students’ attendance, and imposing additional costs and administrative burdens; that it has disrupted staffing and research at state medical institutions; and that it has immediately reduced tax revenues and is harming the economies of the states more broadly.
Attorney General Madigan has condemned the Executive Order as unconstitutional, unlawful and un-American. Earlier this week, Madigan issued a letter to Illinois Governor Rauner urging him and his administration to fight the executive orders and protect Illinois immigrants and refugees from discrimination and hate crimes and a separate order stating that sanctuary jurisdictions are not eligible to receive certain federal grants. As immigrants and refugees seek out information and help about the Executive Orders, Madigan also issued advice about the possibility of scam artists and unscrupulous immigration services providers illegally pose as lawyers or demand excessive upfront fees for assistance in the wake of the executive actions.
Joining Madigan and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey in sending the amicus brief are attorneys General from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.
The full amicus brief is available here.
“As state attorneys general, our job is to enforce the laws and to stand up for our states and our residents,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said. “The Trump administration’s Executive Order is unconstitutional, counterproductive, and harmful to the interests of our states. I join with my colleagues nationwide in a commitment to hold this administration accountable to the rule of law.”
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