Raúl Torrez | Attorney General

AG Balderas Continues Fight against Trump’s Illegal Travel Ban

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 31, 2017

Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216

States cite “irreparable harm” to residents and “overwhelming and unrebutted” evidence of anti-Muslim bias in urging the Court to continue to block President Trump’s unconstitutional travel ban

Albuquerque, NM – Attorney General Hector Balderas has joined 16 fellow state attorneys general in continuing the fight against President Donald Trump’s unconstitutional 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. The brief urges the court to reject the Trump administration’s request to reinstate the travel ban while it appeals a decision from the U.S. District Court for Maryland finding that the President’s scaled-back second executive order still likely violates the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution.

“As the attorney general of a minority-majority state, I will not sit by as people are discriminated based on their religion or national origin, and that is exactly what President Trump’s illegal travel ban continues to do,” said Attorney General Balderas. “New Mexicans celebrate our diversity, and given our fragile economy, we cannot afford to lose doctors, scientists, researchers and high tech workers to this unconstitutional ban.”

In urging the Court to continue the current injunction against the travel ban, the states make it clear that:

1. the Trump administration is unlikely to win their appeal;
2. the public interest strongly favors a continued injunction against the stay;
3. the Trump administration has not demonstrated the required “irreparable harm” that would entitle it to a stay; and
4. States and their residents will face significant harm if the ban goes into effect.

The attorneys general describe thensignificant harm their residents and states would experience if the ban were allowed to go into effect, writing:

Letting the travel ban take effect would irreparably harm the Amici States. It would block entry by students, teachers, workers, and tourists from the six majority-Muslim countries. It would harm our citizens, lawful permanent residents, and resident visa holders, many of whom have family members and loved ones who would be presumptively denied entry. And it would amplify the message of fear and intimidation communicated to our Muslim communities by a President who has fulfilled his promise to single out Muslims for disfavored treatment.

The states also explain that President Trump’s scaled-back second executive order still “violates the Establishment Clause if President Trump’s primary purpose in issuing it was to keep his campaign promise to ban Muslims from entering the country,” and “because the evidence of the President’s anti-Muslim animus was overwhelming and unrebutted” the plaintiffs cannot succeed in their appeal.

The brief is joined by the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

Please see attached for a copy of today’s brief.
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Raul Torrez

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