AG Kilmartin Joins Coalition of AGs Supporting Temporary Restraining Order Blocking Revised Travel Ban
Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin today joined several other attorneys general today filing an amicus brief in the District Court for Hawaii in support of the State of Hawaii's request for a temporary restraining order enjoining the enforcement of the revised Executive Order issued on March 6, 2017. 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.
"Despite an effort by the Trump Administration to 'fix' the issues with the first travel ban, the revised travel ban continues to cause harm to individuals and their families, especially those who have lived, worked and positively added to our communities," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "I agree that we need a strong immigration policy in place to protect the security of our nation, and I believe it can be done without harming the rights of law abiding individuals, but this attempt by the Administration fails to do that."
In the brief filed today, 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 harms to the states' residents, institutions and businesses, and the revised version will continue to harm the states. 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; has disrupted staffing and research at state medical institutions; and has immediately reduced tax revenues and is broadly harming the states' economies.
Attorneys general have been at the forefront of the opposition to the executive action on immigration. Kilmartin 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.
Filing today's amicus brief are attorneys general from Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.