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February 6, 2017

Miller Joins 15 Attorneys General in Amicus Brief Supporting Washington State Lawsuit against President Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration

Brief outlines order’s impact on residents, economies and institutions

DES MOINES – Attorney General Tom Miller today joined 15 state attorneys general in an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in support of the states of Washington and Minnesota in the federal lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration.

In an amici curiae brief co-authored by attorneys general in Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts, the attorneys general declared, “Although the amici States’ residents, institutions, industries, and economies differ in various ways, we now all stand together in facing concrete, immediate and irreparable harms from the Executive Order.”

The amicus brief is signed by attorneys general in 15 states plus the District of Columbia. The states include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia.

The brief follows other legal action by state attorneys general to challenge the constitutionality of the Trump administration’s order.

“The president has broad authority to oversee our nation’s immigration policies and procedures, but not even the president has authority to circumvent our Constitution’s fundamental guarantees of equal protection, religious freedom and due process,” Miller said.

The amicus brief supports the states’ standing to challenge the order, citing the harm it inflicts on the states themselves, including:

  • State educational institutions: The brief details the disruption of faculty staffing, student attendance, and ongoing administration at state colleges and universities, as well as additional costs many of these resource-constrained public institutions cannot afford, caused by the immigration order. In particular, it notes the thousands of faculty and students from the seven affected countries who currently work or study at Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, California, and Virginia state universities.
  • State medical institutions: The brief makes clear the similar injuries the order causes to state medical institutions and the provision of care, disrupting the matching process at medical schools and impacting medical residents and other physicians, faculty, and researches who have already been serving. These institutions serve some of the neediest populations, and are now at risk of decreased staffing as a result of the order.
  • Diminished tax revenues from students, tourists, and business visitors: The order abruptly halted the entry of students, tourists, and other visitors from the affected seven countries – and at the same time stopped the millions of dollars they contribute to the states’ economies. The brief also makes clear that there are longer-term harms to the states’ regional economies as a result of the order, as it hampers the movement of people and ideas into the states.

The amicus brief calls for a denial of the federal government’s emergency motion for stay, as it would return the country to the confusion and chaos created by the executive order in its implementation last weekend.

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