California attorney general and 15 state attorneys file amicus brief opposing President Trump’s travel ban

Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., at his first confirmation hearing for state attorney general on Jan. 10. (Rich Pedroncelli / AP)

SACRAMENTO (KRON)—California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the lawsuit the state of Washington filed against President Donald Trump last week.

The lawsuit accuses Trump of violating the U.S. Constitution by not allowing those from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

Other states that have also joined California in the amicus brief include Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and the District of Columbia.

Becerra expressed in a statement after the filing how it was necessary for California to get involved.

On behalf of the nearly 40 million people of California, I stand shoulder-to-shoulder with attorneys general in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and the District of Columbia, in filing an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to preserve the suspension of the Trump Administration’s travel ban.

The Administration’s reckless dismissal of the Constitution threatens to rip apart California families, risks their economic well-being and defies centuries of our American tradition.
The brief I joined tells the appeals court that immigrants are the life-blood of our nation who work hard to build our country, especially in California. Our universities, medical institutions, businesses, and our tax base are all harmed by President Donald Trump’s unconstitutional and un-American order.

Here are examples of how states and California would be harmed if the ban were implemented, as detailed in our brief:

    • Medical school programs would “risk having insufficient medical residents to meet staffing needs.” (p. 5)
    • Medical residents would be “unable to renew or extend their nonimmigrant visas” and schools would be left “with unfilled positions in their years-long programs for training physicians; and staffing gaps will open up at hospitals.” (p. 8)
    • The process of admitting students to state college and universities would be disrupted
    • “The University of California’s ten campuses have almost 500 affected graduate students and 40 affected undergraduates. . . the California State University System has more than 1,300 students from the affected countries with immigrant status and more than 250 students on student visas” (pp. 5-6)

At the California Department of Justice, our Civil Rights and Government Law sections and our Solicitor General’s office worked day and night to make this filing happen.

We in California will continue to coordinate with like-minded states in a concerted effort to fight the travel ban that denies the rights of law-abiding people to travel freely here and abroad. And I will do everything possible as Attorney General to make sure that the executive order by the Trump administration does not see the light of day.

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