Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced he has asked a federal judge to block President Trump’s latest version of his travel ban, saying it would create an indefinite ban on travel by millions of people, “including many with close ties to Washington.”
“We defeated President Trump’s first travel ban,” Ferguson said in a statement. “This one is also unlawful, and it is hurting families, businesses and universities in our state. I will continue to hold the President accountable to the rule of law.”
California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon are also joining Washington in this latest case.
Ferguson says Trump’s third attempt at a travel ban is “broader than his previous efforts because rather than imposing a “temporary pause,” it indefinitely bans immigration by individuals from six majority Muslim countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Chad).”
North Korea is also included in the ban, though Ferguson says that provision is irrelevant because immigration from North Korea to the U.S. is virtually non-existent.
In a release, Ferguson pointed out the similarities to the previous two bans, including:
- Yet again, it targets Muslims in violation of the Establishment Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.
- Yet again, it completely bars immigration by individuals from certain countries even though federal law — the Immigration and Nationality Act — prohibits discrimination based on nationality. And it does so even though this Administration’s own Department of Homeland Security concluded in an internal report that “country of citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity.”
- And yet again, for Muslim-majority countries, the ban applies even to people who pose absolutely no plausible threat of terrorist activity, such as young children and grandparents seeking to visit their relatives here.
- The ban does not explain its exclusion of non-Muslim majority countries such as Belgium where there have been widely documented problems with information sharing, and whose nationals have carried out terrorist attacks on Europe.
- The latest ban also exceeds the President’s authority in multiple ways.
- Congress, not the President, has the authority to make immigration laws. The latest executive order is essentially a new immigration law. Additionally, Congress has already enacted comprehensive visa and admissibility rules that conflict with the terms of the latest travel ban.
- The federal government has argued that the President has the authority to issue these travel bans in the interest of national security. However, in order to exercise that authority, the President must provide evidence an action is in the interest of national security — and has failed to do so.
- The latest travel ban restates the previous vague “national security” concerns that courts struck down.
- In 2017, the Attorney General’s Office has prevailed four times against the Trump Administration. Every court to have issued a decision has ruled in favor of the Washington Attorney General’s Office in cases it has brought against the Trump Administration.