NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today filed a motion to join a federal lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s immigration Executive Order. As the complaint states, Attorney General Schneiderman “brings this action to protect the rights of New York residents; the economic welfare, health, and well-being of its citizenry; and the interests of New York’s employers, hospitals, and educational institutions.”
“Our proposed complaint describes how President Trump’s executive order is not only unconstitutional and fundamentally un-American, but also how it does profound harm to our families, our economy, and our educational and health care institutions,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “President Trump’s intent to discriminate against Muslims is clear. We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to fight this discriminatory ban and protect all those caught in the crossfire of its chaotic implementation.”
The motion was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of New York.
The Proposed Complaint’s central allegations include the following:
Intent to Discriminate Against Muslims
The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause forbids the government from favoring or disfavoring particular religions.
As Attorney General Schneiderman’s proposed complaint describes, President Trump has made many statements demonstrating his intent to discriminate against Muslims on the basis of their religion, including by banning the entry of Muslims into the United States. The proposed complaint also describes comments from President Trump and his surrogates after signing the Executive Order, which made clear the restrictions were targeted to Muslims, including Rudolph Giuliani’s January 28th statement:
“I’ll tell you the whole history of it. So when [President Trump] first announced it, he said ‘Muslim ban.’ He called me up. He said, ‘Put a commission together. Show me the right way to do it legally.’ . . . . And what we did was, we focused on, instead of religion, danger — the areas of the world that create danger for us.”
Conflicting and Changing Interpretation and Implementation
The proposed complaint goes on to describe the conflicting and changing interpretations and implementation of President Trump’s executive order by the federal government, including as it relates to lawful permanent residents and dual nationals. The “sweeping breadth and lack of clarity” of the order has resulted in inconsistent implementation by immigration authorities — and has jeopardized the health and safety of the families caught up by these uncertainties.
Profound Harm to New York
New York is home to over 4.4 million foreign-born residents (22.5 percent of the state’s population), including 15,000 people born in one of the seven affected countries. The Attorney General’s proposed complaint alleges that the Executive Order has “significantly harmed the overall health and well-being of New York and its people, as well as its business interests and economy.”
As the proposed complaint describes, the travel ban adversely affects various business sectors, institutions and individuals in New York State.
The lawsuit was originally filed by the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale University, the Urban Justice Center, and the National Immigration Law Center.
This matter is being handled by Deputy Solicitor General Anisha Dasgupta, Senior Assistant Solicitor General Andrew W. Amend, Special Counsel Jessica Attie, Assistant Attorneys General Justin Deabler, Sania Khan, and Anjana Samant of the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Bureau, and Assistant Attorneys General Mark Ladov and Adam Pollock, under the direction of Civil Rights Bureau Chief Lourdes Rosado. The Civil Rights Bureau is part of the Social Justice Division, which is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice Alvin Bragg.
Photo by The White House Facebook page via Wikimedia Commons in the Public Domain.
Press Release by Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.
Press Release Made Available by the Office of Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.