Vermont Press Releases

17 Attorneys General File Amicus Brief in Support of Virginia’s Lawsuit Against President Trump’s Immigration Ban

News Release — Vermont Office of the Attorney General
February 9, 2017

TJ Donovan
Attorney General
(802) 828-3173

Building on another brief filed earlier this week in the 9th Circuit, Vermont joins a coalition of Attorneys General in support of a preliminary injunction enjoining the Executive Order nationwide.

Yesterday, Attorney General Donovan and 16 other Attorneys General filed an amicus brief in support of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s lawsuit against the Trump Administration’s executive order on immigration. This follows an amicus brief filed earlier this week with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, supporting the Washington State lawsuit against the executive order. The amicus brief is led by the Attorneys General from New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, and also signed by the Attorneys General from Vermont, California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington.

In the amici curiae brief filed yesterday in the Virginia suit, the Attorneys General stated: “The excluded individuals include those with valid U.S. visas that enable them to work, study, and travel within the amici States. The Executive Order thus inhibits the free exchange of information, ideas, and talent between the seven designated countries and the amici States, negatively affecting the financial stability and intellectual vitality of educational and research institutions, and disrupting large and small businesses throughout the States.”

Attorney General Donovan added: “Vermont is proud to support Virginia in their challenge of this unconstitutional order.”

The amicus brief highlights the irreparable harm already caused to the amici states, including disruptions to staffing and intellectual exchange at colleges, universities, and medical institutions; enduring harm to the states’ economies and tax revenues; and the irreparable injury caused by the executive order’s egregious violations of the U.S. Constitution. The full amicus brief is available here.

In particular, the brief cites the hundreds of employees and thousands of students affected by the order at state educational institutions, as well as disruptions to medical staffing and research. Additionally, the brief highlights the large number of entrepreneurs, developers, and other professionals who are foreign-born, and on which businesses and the states’ economies rely. The order has caused the amici states to lose both direct and indirect tax revenue.

The brief goes on to detail how the executive order violates the Establishment, Due Process, and Equal Protection clauses of the constitution, and how the order’s chaotic implementation has gravely harmed people in the states. As the brief states, “Without judicial action staying the implementation of the Executive Order across the country, our States will see a return of the chaos experienced in our airports beginning on the weekend of January 28 and 29, and continued serious harms to the individuals who live, work, and study in our States; the institutions that employ and educate such persons; and the communities in which they reside.” The amicus brief calls for the Court to enter a preliminary injunction enjoining the operation of the executive order on a nationwide basis.

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