Local attorneys general ready to fight Trump’s immigration order

WASHINGTON — The attorneys general from D.C., Maryland and Virginia are prepared to fight President Donald Trump’s executive order that suspends all immigration for citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries for 90 days.

The region’s top legal minds said the democratic attorneys general nationwide are ready to file or add their weight to a lawsuit against the executive order. Signed Friday, the order also suspends the United States’ refugee program.

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine said he feels confident after the rulings of four federal judges that the ban will not hold up in court.

“As far as we see, it fails three legal tests. No. 1, it’s unconstitutional. No. 2, it’s unlawful in that it contradicts a law passed in 1965 that bans the federal government from making distinctions as a result of where someone is born, their origin of birth. And thirdly, of course, it’s anti-American,” Racine said.

According to federal law, the president has broad power to restrict entry, particularly for national security concerns.

On WAMU, Racine joined attorneys general Brian Frosh of Maryland and Mark Herring of Virginia who said education leaders in the commonwealth have expressed concerns for students, professors and researchers abroad.

“We’re trying to get our arms around how widespread the damage really is. We’ve got calls coming up today with universities as we coordinate our response,” Herring said.

All attorneys general say they want to hear from every resident personally affected by the order and are ready to offer them legal guidance.

“To in the 21st century be facing a presidential edict that is discriminatory against particular religions is appalling. I hope that everybody, all the leaders in our state and across the country, will stand up about it,” Frosh said.

Herring said at issue are First Amendment tax concerns, establishment clause violations, equal protection concerns and the impingement on immigration law.

“This is day 10 in a four-year term, and so folks have to show up and let their voices be heard. I know, as attorneys general, we’re going to be on the front lines of some of the most important fights for economic and social justice in generations,” he said.

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