Massachusetts, New York, Virginia, and Washington are among the first states to sue Donald Trump over his unconstitutional ban targeting Muslims and refugees. San Francisco also joined in the legal resistance against Trump, becoming the first city in the nation to sue over the executive order.
“Over the past three days, my office has closely reviewed the language of the order and its many impacts on our state and our people,” said Massachusetts’ Attorney General Maura Healey. “The executive order is harmful, discriminatory, and unconstitutional.”
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman told The Associated Press that lawyers, including attorneys general, are having an “awakening” regarding the Trump administration.
“This is a president who does not have respect for the rule of the law,” Schneiderman said. “That’s something that bothers a lot of people.”
In Virginia, Gov. Terry McAuliffe said that “this is not the United States of America we know”. State Attorney General Mark Herring said the president’s order is “unlawful, unconstitutional and un-American, and action is required”:
Virginia is asking to join a pending case, Aziz v. Trump et al., in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
The New York Times reported that Tareq Aqel Mohammed Aziz, 21, and his brother Ammar, 19, landed at Dulles International Airport on Saturday morning and were connecting to Flint, Mich., to join their father, a U.S. citizen. The Yemeni brothers were taken off the plane, handcuffed and told their visas had been canceled. They were sent on a return flight to Ethiopia, The Times reported.
The two had immigrant visas, meaning they were approved for legal permanent residency, because their father is a U.S. citizen, according to The Times.
Trump’s ban, Washington state’s lawsuit says, “is separating Washington families, harming thousands of Washington residents, damaging Washington’s economy, hurting Washington-based companies, and undermining Washington’s sovereign interest in remaining a welcoming place for immigrants and refugees.”
In California, San Francisco’s move takes the city’s ongoing resistance straight to the courts, with City Attorney Dennis Herrera asking the US District Court for the Northern District of California for “declaratory injunctive relief” against Trump:
“The president’s executive order is not only unconstitutional, it’s un-American,” Dennis Herrera said at a news conference at City Hall. “That is why we must stand up and oppose it. We are a nation of immigrants and a land of laws. We must be the ‘guardians of our democracy’ that President Obama urged us all to be in his farewell address.”
There are about 400 sanctuary jurisdictions in the United States, and the California Legislature on Tuesday was discussing becoming a sanctuary state.New York Mayor Bill De Blasio has threatened to sue over the same issue, as were cities including Los Angeles, Chicago and Austin, Texas, the New York Times reported.