In response to President Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugees and nationals of seven predominately Muslim countries from entering the U.S., New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Tuesday that his office is joining the ACLU’s federal lawsuit against Trump’s “unconstitutional” order. At a separate news conference on Tuesday, Mayor Ed Lee and City Attorney Dennis Herrera declared that San Francisco is suing Trump for signing an executive order threatening to withhold federal funds from sanctuary cities.
“As I’ve made clear: President Trump’s executive action is unconstitutional, unlawful, and fundamentally un-American,” Schneiderman wrote in a recent statement. “That is why my office will be filing to join the federal lawsuit against President Trump and his administration. I’m proud to partner with these organizations to fight to permanently strike down this dangerous and discriminatory order.
“I will continue to do everything in my power to not just fight this executive order, but to protect the families caught in the chaos sown by President Trump’s hasty and irresponsible implementation – including pressing DHS and CBP to provide a full list of those still detained and allow them access to legal service providers.”
Shortly after Trump signed an executive order suspending the resettlement of Syrian refugees indefinitely and barring nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the U.S. for 90 days, the ACLU joined the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale University, the Urban Justice Center, and the National Immigration Law Center in a federal lawsuit on behalf of Iraqi refugees detained at NYC’s Kennedy International Airport. On Saturday evening, Federal District Court Judge Ann Donnelly issued a decision blocking Trump’s executive order from taking effect.
Two hours later, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero wrote, “At John F. Kennedy International Airport last night, Hameed Khalid Darweesh arrived and was immediately detained. Darweesh worked as interpreter for the Army’s 101st Airborne Division and, according to Brandon Friedman, a platoon leader in Iraq, saved countless U.S. service members’ lives. We don’t know how many other refugees and foreign nationals with green cards or visas might have been detained when they tried to make their way into the United States today, but we intend to find out.”
Romero continued, “The United States is a nation governed by the rule of law and not the iron will of one man. President Trump now has learned that we are democratic republic where the powers of government are not dictatorial. They are limited. The courts are the bulwark of our democracy that protects individual rights and guards against the overreaching of an administration that confuses its will for the American public’s.”
Following Acting Attorney General Sally Yates’ statement opposing Trump’s executive order, the president fired her on Monday night and immediately replaced Yates with Dana Boente. Later that evening, Boente wrote, “Based upon the Office of Legal Counsel’s analysis, which found the Executive Order both lawful on its face and properly drafted, I hereby rescind former Acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates January 30, 2017, guidance and direct the men and women of the Department of Justice to do our sworn duty and to defend the lawful orders of our President.”
At the same time, the White House issued a press release accusing Yates of betraying “the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States.” The Office of the Press Secretary also labeled Yates as “an Obama Administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.”
On Tuesday, Schneiderman announced that his office has joined the ACLU’s lawsuit against Trump’s executive order, which effectively bans many Muslims from entering the country. In 2013, Schneiderman’s office sued Trump on behalf of thousands of students who attended his fraudulent university. Last year, Trump ended up settling the suit for $25 million.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced that her office also plans to join the ACLU lawsuit against Trump’s immigration ban. During a separate news conference on Tuesday, San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed a federal lawsuit against President Donald Trump and his administration for a different executive order directing enforcement action against sanctuary cities and threatening to withhold federal funding from these cities.
“We are all safer when everyone, including undocumented immigrants, feel safe reporting crimes,” Herrera asserted. “We are all healthier when every resident has access to public health programs. We are all smarter and economically stronger when every child attends school.”