Chicago Attorney General Lisa Madigan today joined with 16 other state attorneys general in continuing to challenge the unconstitutional federal travel ban by filing an amicus brief in International Refugee Assistance Project v. Trump before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, urging the court to uphold a district court ruling that struck the ban down as unconstitutional.
The states' brief explains the reasons that the district court's decision should not be overturned on appeal, including the overwhelming and unrebutted evidence of anti-Muslim animus, the lack of evidence of a national security rationale, and the significant harms that the ban would cause the states, their residents, and their institutions.
"I am committed to protecting all Illinois residents, our educational institutions and employers from the harm caused by the travel ban," Madigan said. "The travel ban still discriminates against people who are afforded the liberties and freedoms that our country was founded on."
The brief details the considerable harms that would occur if the ban is allowed to go into effect, including harm to state colleges, universities, and medical institutions, reduced tax revenues and damage to state economies, harm to the medical care of residents, and harm to each state's antidiscrimination laws and protections for religious freedom found in the Constitution of each of the filing states.
In urging the court to affirm the existing preliminary injunction against the ban, the attorneys general write:
"The Amici States urge the Court to affirm the preliminary injunction because ( 1 ) the district court correctly determined that Plaintiffs are likely to succeed in showing that Section 2( c ) has the purpose of excluding Muslims and therefore violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment; ( 2 ) the balance of hardship tilts decidedly in Plaintiffs' favor because Defendants failed to adduce any evidence that they would be harmed by temporarily preserving the status quo that existed before EO-2; and ( 3 ) the public interestincluding the interests of the States and their residentsstrongly favors enjoining an unconstitutional executive order that fulfills the President's campaign promise to prevent Muslims from entering the country."
Joining Madigan in filing the amicus brief are the attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.
The full amicus brief is available here.
Attorneys general have been at the forefront of the opposition to the executive action on immigration. Madigan 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, as well as supporting Hawaii's challenge to the revised executive action.
In February, Madigan held a summit with local civil rights leaders on immigration and hate crimes in light of the federal executive actions on immigration. She also issued a letter to Illinois Governor Rauner asking his administration to fight the immigration ban Executive Order and protect Illinois immigrants and refugees from discrimination and hate crimes and to oppose a separate Executive Order stating that sanctuary jurisdictions are not eligible to receive certain federal grants. Madigan sent Governor Rauner a separate letter urging him to reinstate Illinois' Hate Crimes Commission. As immigrants and refugees seek out information and help in response to the Executive Orders, Madigan has provided guidance about the possibility of scam artists and unscrupulous immigration services providers unlawfully posing as lawyers or demanding excessive upfront fees for assistance.