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February 6, 2017


Madigan Joins 15 Other Attorneys General & Asks Appellate Court to Permanently End Unconstitutional 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 of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco in support of a lawsuit challenging the federal Executive Orders on immigration as illegal and unconstitutional.

“Our country was built by immigrants and refugees who came here in search of a better life,” Madigan said. “Illinois is home to nearly 2 million immigrants who contribute to our state in invaluable ways. I will fight to ensure Illinois remains a safe and welcome home for immigrants and refugees.”

Madigan filed the brief together with attorneys general from 15 other states and the District of Columbia in State of Washington and State of Minnesota v. Donald Trump. Madigan and the attorneys general urged the Appellate Court to uphold the temporary restraining order blocking key parts of the executive action, pointing to the damage that will be caused to individual states.

The brief states that the Executive Orders barring entry into the United States of individuals who are nationals from seven majority-Muslim countries, including people who hold valid U.S. visas for work, study and travel “hinders the free exchange of information, ideas, and talent between the affected countries and the States, including at the States’ many educational institutions; harms the States’ life sciences, technology, health care, finance and other industries, as well as innumerable small businesses throughout the States; and will inflict economic harm on the States themselves.”

“The Administration’s reckless dismissal of the Constitution threatens to rip apart California families, risks their economic well-being and defies centuries of our American tradition,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said. “Immigrants are the life-blood of our nation who work hard to build our country, especially in California. Our universities, medical institutions, businesses, and our tax base are all harmed by President Donald Trump’s unconstitutional and un-American order.”

“I am grateful to the State of Washington for taking this leadership role in ensuring that the President complies with the Constitution and laws of our country,” Delaware Attorney General Matthew Denn said. “I hope that this litigation will help repair the harm caused by the reckless drafting and implementation of this Order, and ultimately result in a federal immigration policy that protects Americans’ safety and also comports with the law.”

“We believe this executive order is unconstitutional and unlawful, which is why we are joining in opposing its implementation,” District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine said. “If implemented, this executive order would cause real and immediate harm to our residents and our city. As state attorneys general charged with promoting the public interest, we will continue to take any appropriate action to stand in the gap to defend our Constitution and its timeless principles of religious freedom, equal protection of law, and due process.”

“The Executive Order has already generated confusion, disappointment, and fear,” said Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh. “It is not only a policy that is unwise and dangerous, but it is a policy that is inhumane, inappropriate and un-American. As Attorneys General, we have the responsibility to fight this unconstitutional order and uphold the law.”

“No president or administration is more powerful than our laws and our Constitution,” said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. “As state AGs, it is our job to hold this administration accountable and stand for the interests of our states and our residents. We are united in this effort.”

“New Mexico has welcomed hundreds of students, scholars, doctors, and other lawful visa-holders from countries affected by this unlawful order,” New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said. “It is unfair, unconstitutional, and un-American that these community members and their families are being penalized based solely on their religion and national origin.”

“State Attorneys General are on the front lines of protecting our people from dangerous and hastily-implemented federal policy. I’ve been clear: President Trump’s executive order is unconstitutional, unlawful, and fundamentally un-American – and we won’t stand by while it undermines our states’ families, economies, and institutions,” New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said. “From filing our own federal lawsuit last week, to partnering with fellow Attorneys General on this amicus brief today, we will use every tool at our disposal to fight President Trump’s discriminatory order and help ensure the rule of law prevails.”

“Here in Oregon, we welcome and honor our immigrants, who add so much to the quality of our lives. We want to be ready to help in any way we can to establish the permanent illegality of the Executive Order,” said Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.

“This filing is about keeping our communities safe, protecting our economy, and upholding the rule of law” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “Pennsylvania was founded on the promise of liberty and we’re proud to help lead this effort in support of Washington State’s lawsuit.”

“As a colony, Rhode Island was founded on religious tolerance. We were formed by the visionaries and dissidents who were escaping religious persecution. In our earliest years, we became a haven for people of all faiths and beliefs,” Rhode Island Attorney General Kilmartin said. “President Trump’s Executive Order is in direct conflict with the principles upon which our great state and this great nation was built upon. We cannot allow, our Constitution and our constitutional rights to be trampled on, people to be discarded, or our freedoms to be restricted.”

“Even as we pursue our own challenge here in the Commonwealth, we stand with those opposing President Trump’s unconstitutional, unlawful, and un-American immigration ban, whether in courtrooms, at our airports, or at peaceful demonstrations in communities all around the country,” Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said. “The immigration ban has already hurt Virginia families, businesses, colleges and universities in ways that will take years to undo, but the first step is getting it struck down in court and that is exactly what we plan to do.”

Attorney General Madigan has condemned the Executive Orders as unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful. She also has 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. Madigan also issued advice to immigrants that they may be targets of scam artists and unscrupulous immigration services providers who illegally pose as lawyers or demand excessive upfront fees for assistance in the wake of the executive actions.

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has already denied the administration’s request for an immediate suspension of a district court’s temporary restraining order that blocked the implementation of key portions of the executive orders on immigration.

AG Madigan’s Amicus Brief on Immigration PDF Document


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