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Karl A. Racine
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Coalition of 16 Attorneys General File Amicus Brief in Support of New York’s Lawsuit Against President Trump’s Immigration Ban

Friday, February 17, 2017
Attorney General Racine Joins Counterparts to Support Extending Temporary Restraining Order

Rob Marus, Communications Director: (202) 724-5646; [email protected]
Marrisa Geller, Public Affairs Specialist: (202) 724-5448; [email protected]

WASHINGTON, D. C. – Attorney General Karl A. Racine has joined 15 state attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in support of a New York lawsuit against the Trump Administration’s executive order banning travel to the United States by refugees, travelers and immigrants from seven majority-Muslim nations. The suit, which was originally filed by several organizations and joined by the State of New York, is currently pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

State attorneys general have been at the forefront of the opposition to President Trump’s order, and today’s filing follows similar amicus briefs with supporting Washington state’s lawsuit against the executive order in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and in support of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The attorneys general have won strong initial victories in each of those cases.

In the brief filed today, the Attorneys General state: “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.”

This amicus brief, co-authored by Massachusetts and Illinois, is joined by attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington state.

“The District of Columbia is proud to stand alongside these states as we fight this unconstitutional and un-American executive order,” said District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A Racine. “We will continue to fight for our nation’s core principles of due process, equal protection and religious freedom and against executive overreach that threatens our residents and our values.”

“As state attorneys general, our job is to enforce the laws and to stand up for our states and our residents,” said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. “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.”

“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,” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said.

The amicus brief highlights that the executive order has already caused concrete and irreparable harms to the District’s and states’ residents, institutions, and businesses. Specifically, the states argue that the order has:

  • Harmed state colleges and universities, creating staffing gaps, precluding students’ attendance, and imposing additional costs and administrative burdens;
  • Disrupted staffing and research at state medical institutions;
  • Immediately reduced tax revenues for the states and the District;
  • And has harmed the economies of the states and the District more broadly.

In the brief, the District and states also urge the Court to enter a preliminary injunction. The brief argues that, without continued relief from the executive order, the amici will see a return of the chaos in airports as experienced the weekend following the issuance of the executive order. The District and 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 jurisdictions; to their families and communities; and to the institutions and businesses that employ and educate them.

The full amicus brief is attached, and is also available online.