FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 10, 2017
Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216
Santa Fe, NM – Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas, part of a coalition of sixteen Attorneys General, filed an amicus brief in the Hawaii travel ban litigation, supporting Hawaii’s pending motion for injunctive relief in federal district court.
“The Trump Administration is refusing to follow the Supreme Court’s ruling placing much of the travel ban on hold and we will continue to go to court to ensure that President Trump and his administration follow the law,” said Attorney General Balderas. “I will stand up to the illegal actions of President Trump and protect New Mexico’s economy, research facilities, hospitals and universities.”
Last week, Hawaii filed a motion in State of Hawaii and Ismail Elshikh v. Donald Trump, et al. to clarify the scope of the injunction that partially blocks the travel ban; this same coalition of Attorneys General filed an amicus brief in support of Hawaii’s first motion. While the district court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declined for procedural reasons to address that first motion, the Ninth Circuit observed that Hawaii could seek injunctive relief from the district court. Late Friday, the plaintiffs filed a motion to enforce, or alternatively, to modify the district court’s preliminary injunction. Today’s amicus brief filed by the coalition of Attorneys
General supports that new motion.
Click here to read the full amicus brief signed by the Attorneys General of New Mexico, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.
The Supreme Court left the injunction in place in part, preventing the enforcement of the ban against people with a close familial relationship to persons in the United States. The Attorneys General argue that the Trump administration’s narrow interpretation of “close familial relationship” – which excludes grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and siblings-in-law – improperly and arbitrarily excludes from the protection of the injunction family members who fall squarely within its meaning and purpose, in violation of the Supreme Court’s directive.
“Amici have a strong interest in plaintiffs’ challenge to this Executive Order because many of its provisions have threatened—indeed, have already caused—substantial harm to our residents, communities, hospitals, universities, and businesses while courts continue to adjudicate the Order’s lawfulness,” the Attorneys General wrote.
“In sum, the federal government’s restrictive definition of close familial relationships will result in the improper exclusion of numerous foreign nationals who have the requisite bona fide connection to person in the United States, despite the Supreme Court’s unequivocal holding that this Court’s protections for such persons remain in full force. Accordingly, this Court should enter an order finding that such a restricted definition is impermissible and either enjoining defendants’ violation of the injunction by their application of the unlawful guidance, or modifying the injunction to specify in detail the relationships within its broad penumbra,” the Attorneys General concluded.