MAYOR EMANUEL, MAYOR GARCETTI, MAYOR DE BLASIO AND MAYOR WALSH TAKE LEGAL ACTION AGAINST PRESIDENT TRUMP’S TRAVEL BANChicago, Los Angeles, New York City & Boston lead the local government effort against second executive order
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh today announced the Cities of Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City and Boston have filed a friend-of-the-court (amicus) brief in the federal district court in Seattle, where six States have challenged President Donald Trump’s second attempt at restricting travel into the United States from six majority-Muslim nations is being heard.
“The revised travel ban is an affront to American values, weakens our national security, and is unconstitutional,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I am pleased that our country’s cities are standing together in defense of our most cherished principles and in opposition to this unlawful executive order. The City of Chicago will fight to ensure that this country remains a welcoming beacon of hope to innocent refugees who seek to escape the life-threatening horrors of war, to asylum seekers, and to hardworking, law-abiding immigrants who seek a better life.”
“The travel ban targets people indiscriminately and is far out of step with the values of religious tolerance and equality that we believe in as Americans,” said Mayor Garcetti. “Cities are coming together to lead this fight because we understand the urgency of working together to keep our country safe — and doing it in a way that honors our shared humanity, celebrates our diversity, and does not turn away from the ideals that define who we are.”
“Once again cities across the country are united in opposition to policies from the White House that don’t align with American interests or American values,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Cities depend heavily on the countless contributions of immigrant communities, from academia and healthcare, to our business and tourism sectors. This order targets Muslim-majority nations – discriminating against individuals based on national origin and religion. It flies in the face of America’s historic commitment to be a home of refuge for those fleeing violence. Policy that discriminates makes us all less safe by undermining trust with law enforcement and making immigrants more vulnerable to victimization. Cities on the front lines will continue to deploy every tool at our disposal, including legal action, to confront misguided policies that undermine our morals and our safety.”
“Preventing people from entering the country based solely on their faith runs counter to everything we stand for as Americans,” said Mayor Walsh. “This revised travel ban is still rooted in fear, not truth, and continues to divide us as a nation and a world. Boston recognizes the vital role immigrants and their families play in our economy, culture and overall identity. I’m proud to join my fellow Mayors and other cities across the country in standing up for immigrants and their families.”
Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City and Boston, joining with Central Falls (RI), Cook County, Gary, Ithaca, Jersey City, Madison, Minneapolis, Montgomery County (MD), Oakland, Portland, Philadelphia, Saint Paul, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Clara County, Santa Monica, Seattle, Skokie, South Bend and West Hollywood, presented the local government position to the district court, which is considering the States’ emergency motion to apply its existing injunction to the new executive order. The brief explains the vital contribution that immigrants make to our cities and country, points out that classifications based on religion and natural origin are presumptively invalid, and argues that the travel ban is misguided and unconstitutional.
The executive order restricting immigration prohibits people from six countries—Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen—from entering the U.S. for 90 days and halts the admission into the U.S. of people granted refugee status for 120 days while the Trump administration revises immigration screening procedures.
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 City is grateful for Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP’s contribution to our efforts to protect the rights of immigrants and refugees and to defend Chicago’s status as a city that embraces diversity and promotes inclusion,” said Corporation Counsel Ed Siskel.
The recent legal action is one of several actions the Emanuel Administration has taken since the November election to reiterate Chicago’s status as a welcoming City.
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.
On December 7, Mayor Emanuel presented a letter to President-elect Donald Trump urging him to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program until Congress modernizes the immigration system and provides a more permanent form of relief for the over one million young people who were brought to the U.S. before they were 16 and are eligible for the program.
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 launching the Cities for Citizenship Campaign with the Mayors of New York City and Los Angeles, which has grown into a bipartisan effort which works with 30 City and county leaders across America.