MAYOR EMANUEL, MAYOR DE BLASIO, MAYOR GARCETTI, MAYOR KENNEY & MAYOR WALSH FILE NEW LEGAL BRIEFS
AGAINST PRESIDENT TRUMP’S TRAVEL BAN AS COURT CASES PROCEED
Federal Courts of Appeals to hear the issues in two separate cases on May 8 and May 15
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh today announced the Cities of Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston and 27 other cities and counties have filed additional legal briefs supporting two challenges to President Donald Trump’s efforts to restrict travel to the United States from six majority-Muslim nations and to suspend the refugee program.
“Restricting travel to the United States based on religion is illegal, unconstitutional and contrary to our most fundamental American values,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Chicago is proud to stand with cities and counties across the country in defense of our most cherished principles and opposition to President’s Trump’s ill-conceived and discriminatory travel ban.”
Today, Chicago led a total of 32 cities and counties on a friend-of-the-court (amicus) brief in support of the State of Hawaii and a doctor of Egyptian descent, where the district court enjoined two provisions of the Executive Order, both the President’s travel ban for individuals from certain Muslim-majority countries and the suspension of the admission of refugees into the United States. The case will be heard by a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on May 15.
On Wednesday, April 19, a total of 31 cities and counties filed an amicus brief in support of the Maryland district court’s decision enjoining a provision of the President’s Executive Order on travel by individuals from certain Muslim-majority countries. The case will be heard en banc by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals on May 8 before all 15 judges.
“Once again, New York City stands firmly against the White House’s exclusionary policies,” said New York City Mayor de Blasio. “Immigrants are an essential part of our city – from the local economy to civic and cultural life. Not only is this policy discriminatory, it makes us all less safe by undermining trust with law enforcement and making immigrants more vulnerable to victimization. By targeting individuals from Muslim-majority nations, this order is also a refutation of our nation’s historic commitment to be a home of refuge for those fleeing violence. New York, in partnership with cities across America, will keep fighting misguided and dangerous policies that are an affront to our morals.”
“Philadelphia is again proud to voice its opposition to this discriminatory travel ban, which goes against the fundamentals of our Constitution and promotes fear among our immigrant populations,” said Philadelphia Mayor Kenney. “Along with our fellow cities and counties, we will take every opportunity to make our voices heard in this fight.”
“We know immigrants and their families play a vital role in our economy, culture and overall identity, and this travel ban goes against the very bedrock of our nation,” said Boston Mayor Walsh. “The United States is rooted in the freedom to practice one’s faith, and I am proud to stand with my fellow mayors as we continue to welcome people from all countries, regardless of their religion.”
Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Boston, joined by Austin, Carrboro, Central Falls (RI), Chapel Hill, Cook County, Gary, Iowa City, Ithaca, Jersey City, Madison, Minneapolis, Montgomery County (MD), Oakland, Portland, Providence, St. Louis, St. Paul, San Francisco, Santa Clara County, Santa Monica, Seattle, Skokie, South Bend and West Hollywood, presented the local government position to the two federal courts. Both briefs explain 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. Further, the briefs argue that cities and counties serve as gateways for immigrants and refugees starting new lives in America, and that the President’s executive order endangers communities; undermines national security; limits the labor pool; decreases tax revenues; dampens tourism industries; and harms businesses, educational institutions and hospitals. The City and County of Honolulu also joined the brief in the Ninth Circuit.
Earlier this year, President Trump issued an executive order, followed by a revised executive order, restricting immigration by prohibiting people from six countries—Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen—from entering the U.S. for 90 days and halting the admission into the United States of people granted refugee status for 120 days.
Today’s filing in the Ninth Circuit is the fourth time Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Boston and other cities and counties have taken legal action against President Trump’s attempts to restrict travel into the United States. The court is reviewing a decision by the district court in Hawaii that relied on Chicago’s brief.
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’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.
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.
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.