ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN FILES AMICUS BRIEF IN VIRGINIA LAWSUIT CHALLENGING UNCONSTITUTIONAL IMMIGRATION EXECUTIVE ORDER
Madigan Joins 16 Other Attorneys General Urging District Court to End Travel Ban Nationwide Noting Irreparable Harm to Illinois & the Country
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed an amicus brief today in the U.S. Circuit Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in support of a motion for preliminary injunction filed by the Commonwealth of Virginia challenging the federal Executive Order on immigration as unconstitutional and illegal. As a result of the executive action limiting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, as many as 100,000 visas were canceled.
"Choosing who is allowed to come to our country based on their religious beliefs is unconstitutional and discriminatory," Madigan said. "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."
In the brief filed together with attorneys general from 15 other states and the District of Columbia in Aziz v. Trump et al, Madigan detailed why the Executive Order violates the Constitution and urged the Court to block the executive action nationwide, pointing to the damage caused to individual states and their residents.
The brief states that the Executive Order barring entry into the United States of individuals who are foreign nationals from seven majority-Muslim countries, including lawful permanent residents (green card holders), people who hold valid U.S. visas for work, study and travel and those seeking asylum "inhibits the free exchange of information, ideas, and talent between the seven designated countries the amici States, damaging the financial stability and intellectual vitality of state educational and research institutions and disrupting large and small businesses throughout the States."
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.
Virginia's case against the immigration ban is moving forward following a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Leonie M. Brinkema granting Virginia's motion to intervene in a case filed by several individuals challenging the ban. Virginia will argue in favor of its motion for a preliminary injunction at a hearing set for Friday, Feb. 10.
The amicus brief is led by Madigan and Attorneys General from New York, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, and signed by the Attorneys General from California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
"We strongly believe this executive order violates both core constitutional principles and federal law, and we are proud to join with our fellow states in opposing its implementation in this case as well as the 9th Circuit case," District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine said. "The District of Columbia, like all of our jurisdictions, is a city that has always thrived thanks to the hard work of immigrants and the educational and scientific resources that visitors and temporary residents from nations all over the world bring to our city every day. We will continue to fight for basic American principles of equal protection, religious freedom, and welcoming people from all nations and cultures."
"The Trump Administration's Executive Order is not only a policy that is unwise and dangerous, but it is a policy that is inhumane, inappropriate and un-American," Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh said. "As Attorneys General, collectively we will use our authority to protect the business community, educational institutions, and our citizens from this unconstitutional order."
"As Attorneys General, our primary job is to protect the people we represent," New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said. "President Trump's immigration ban represents an all-out assault on the rights of New Yorkers, on our economy and businesses, and on our educational and healthcare institutions. My fellow Attorneys General and I will continue to do everything in our power to strike down this unconstitutional, discriminatory, and chaotic order, and prevent further harm to the people we serve."
"President Trump's executive order undermines the core American value of religious tolerance, and it makes us less safe," North Carolina Josh Stein said. "It signals to the world that America sees all Muslims as terrorists, strengthening ISIS's propaganda and efforts to recruit terrorists. That is why I will join my colleagues in taking action."
"We will continue to review each lawsuit filed to determine how best we can, individually and collectively, stop the President's ill-conceived, immoral, and unconstitutional executive order," Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin said. "As a state and a nation, we benefit academically, culturally and economically from the many immigrants that make up our communities. This executive order not only has a chilling effect on those communities but also on our academic institutions and our economy."