Mayor de Blasio And Other Mayors File Legal Brief Against President Trump’s Travel Ban

March 30, 2018

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh announced the Cities of Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, 44 other cities and counties.

Included is the U.S. Conference of Mayors will file a friend-of-the-court (amicus) brief today in the United States Supreme Court, opposing President Donald Trump’s attempt to restrict travel into the United States.The brief supports the State of Hawaii, individuals, and an immigrant rights group who are challenging the Trump administration’s latest effort to restrict travel from several majority-Muslim nations, this time issued by proclamation instead of by executive order.

“President Trump’s travel ban is not only unlawful, it is discriminatory and contrary to everything America has stood for throughout its history,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “I am proud to stand with leaders across the country in support of our most fundamental American values and against President Trump’s unlawful, unjust and unnecessary travel ban.”

“Trump’s travel ban is a racist abdication of American values,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Here in New York City, we have shown how embracing immigrant communities makes us stronger and safer. We are proud to link arms with cities and municipalities across the nation and stand firm against the travel ban.”

“It is un-American to turn people away from this country because of their faith or where they were born,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Mayors everywhere are standing together to defend and preserve the values of justice and equality.”

“The President’s third travel ban continues to be solely motivated by anti-Immigrant sentiment and not by any evidence that this policy will strengthen our national security,” said Mayor Kenney. “In Philadelphia, we celebrate our diversity. We know that it makes our City stronger. This latest attempt at a ban continues to send a harmful message to the immigrants who have helped our economy grow, and the visitors we wish to welcome to our City. It undermines the welcoming spirit of our nation and our City. Just like the first two versions, this version cannot stand.”

“We know immigrants and their families play a vital role in our economy, culture and overall identity in Boston and across our country,” said Mayor Walsh. “Not only that, but the freedom to practice one’s faith is a pillar of our American democracy. I am proud to stand with my fellow mayors as we continue to welcome people from all countries, regardless of their religion, and voice our opposition to this discriminatory travel ban.”

On September 24, President Trump issued a proclamation placing new travel restrictions on immigration by all or certain people from eight countries – Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. Six of these eight countries are Muslim-majority countries. This action followed two failed attempts by President Trump in 2017 to restrict immigration from six or seven majority-Muslim countries, including five that are still on the list. Judges in both Maryland and Hawaii have enjoined the latest attempt, and the U.S. Justice Department has appealed in an attempt to reverse the injunction.

In addition to Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Alameda County, Alexandria, Ann Arbor, Austin, Baltimore, Berkeley, Brighton, Cambridge, Carrboro, Central Falls (RI), Chapel Hill, Chelsea, Cook County, Dayton, Denver, Durham, Evanston, Gary, City and County of Honolulu, Iowa City, Ithaca, Knoxville, Madison, Minneapolis, Montgomery County, Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County, New Haven, Normal, Oakland, Plainfield (NJ), Portland (OR), Providence, Rochester, City and County of San Francisco, San José, Santa Clara County, Santa Fe, Santa Monica, Seattle, Skokie, South Bend, Tucson, West Hollywood, and Yonkers have also signed the amicus brief. The brief argues that the proclamation constitutes unlawful discrimination based on national origin and religion, and that applying the restriction against the individuals from two non-Muslim countries – North Korea and Venezuela – is just window dressing.

This filing is the eighth brief Chicago has written against President Trump’s attempts to restrict travel into the United States.

The City’s brief was prepared with the pro bono assistance of several attorneys of the law firm Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP, which has offices in Chicago, New York and San Francisco.

The recent legal action is one of several actions the Emanuel Administration has taken since the 2016 Presidential election to reiterate Chicago’s status as a welcoming City.

Among these, to provide legal assistance to vulnerable Chicago residents, the City created a Legal Protection Fund, pledging $1.3 million to the fund to integrate legal support from attorneys with community navigators rooted in Chicago’s many ethnic communities to provide outreach, education, and assistance to immigrant families across Chicago.

In August, Mayor Emanuel and the City of Chicago filed a federal lawsuit to prevent President Trump’s Justice Department from conditioning a critical federal crime prevention grant on unrelated and unlawful immigration enforcement actions. In September, a federal judge granted a nationwide preliminary injunction against Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the case. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber agreed with the City that the federal government has no authority to require the City to provide 48 hours advance notice to the federal government before releasing a suspected undocumented immigrant from custody, or to require the City to grant unlimited access to City lockups for federal immigration officials to interrogate suspected undocumented immigrants. The Justice Department’s appeal challenging the preliminary injunction is awaiting a ruling from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The case also continues in the district court, where the City recently moved for judgment and a permanent injunction on some of its claims.

Earlier this fall, Mayor Emanuel called on Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and the Illinois General Assembly to establish an Illinois Dreamers Bill of Rights. The bill would enshrine certain protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) – also known as Dreamers – guaranteeing them access to state financial aid and scholarships, professional licenses and certifications for jobs, and additional protections against deportation.

Mayor Emanuel, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, and Congressman Luis Gutierrez also launched a new “Chicago is With You” task force that is collaborating on mental health, legal services, employer communications, and education policies to ensure the City is delivering comprehensive services to immigrants, refugees, and other disenfranchised communities.

Since taking office, Mayor Emanuel has launched a series of initiatives that improve the immigrant community’s access to services, expand new and existing immigrant businesses, and welcome and celebrate Chicago’s diverse immigrant communities. These initiatives include the Cities for Citizenship Campaign with the Mayors of New York City and Los Angeles, which has grown into a bipartisan effort working with 30 city and county leaders across America.

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