Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson / REUTERS

States Join Lawsuit to Block Muslim Ban

Several states have joined a Washington lawsuit to prevent President Donald Trump’s updated Muslim ban from going into effect, arguing that it is still as discriminatory as the original.

California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Oregon have all signed on as plaintiffs in the newest filing.

“Like the First Executive Order, the Second Executive Order will cause severe and immediate harms to the States, including our residents, our colleges and universities, our healthcare providers, and our businesses,” the filing reads, adding, “The Second Executive Order will also cause the States themselves to lose tax revenue and will undermine our sovereign interest in maintaining the separation between church and state, in upholding our non-discrimination policies, and in remaining a welcoming place for immigrants and refugees.”

The countries impacted by Trump’s original order were Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Iraq. Iraq is not included in the new order. The new order also no longer permanently bans Syrian refugees, but it still includes a 120-day suspension for refugees. It does not contain language that would have given Christian refugees priority. Additionally, the order states that no more than 50,000 refugees will be granted entry to the United States in fiscal year 2017. The newest executive order is scheduled to go into effect on March 16.

In the filing the states point to the negative impact the ban will have on their economies. In Washington, businesses owned by immigrants and refugees employ about 140,000 people. California notes that about 27 percent of its population is foreign-born, and this population “contributes significantly to the State’s economy and workforce.” And Maryland’s immigrant population, which the filing calls “vital to Maryland’s economy and very identity,” has not only seen significant growth in recent years but also “contributes disproportionately to its economy.”

“According to the Census Bureau, in 2013 the 14.5% of Maryland’s population that was foreign-born provided 18.2% of Maryland’s total workforce,” the statement reads.

The plaintiffs also point to the effects the ban will have on tourism and the revenue it generates:

“The Second Executive Order already is chilling foreign nationals from visiting New York State, and could cost the State and its residents hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue. For the first time in seven years, New York City officials are expecting a drop in the number of foreign visitors. New York City now expects to draw 300,000 fewer foreigners this year than in 2016, a decline that will cost New York City businesses at least $600 million in sales.”

Travel alone generates significant revenue, as demonstrated in Oregon’s case:

“Portland International Airport, located in Portland, Oregon, served over 670,000 international travelers in 2016. It has been estimated that international travelers from just one major airline contribute over $172 million in business revenue to Oregon. The Second Executive Order will cause significant economic injury to Oregon by interfering with international travel and deterring international travelers from coming to Oregon.”

The Justice Department is reviewing the complaint before responding, a spokesperson reported to Reuters.

“No one is above the law, not even the President and I will hold him accountable to the Constitution,” said Bob Ferguson, attorney general for Washington, in a press release. “Cutting some illegal aspects of President Trump’s original Muslim ban does not cure his affront to our Constitution.”

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the newest Muslim ban “is still an attack on people.”

“The Trump Administration may have changed the text of the now-discredited Muslim Muslim ban, but they didn’t change its unconstitutional intent and effect,” Becerra said.

Similarly, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called the second executive order “just a Muslim Ban by another name.”

“The Trump administration’s continued intent to discriminate against Muslims is clear and it undermines New York’s families, institutions, and economy,” he said.

U.S. District Judge James Robart, the Seattle judge who ordered to block the first Muslim ban, said a hearing would take place no earlier than Wednesday.

Washington and Minnesota successfully filed to block the original executive order from going into effect. In a separate filing on Monday the states asked the court to apply the same injunction to the newest order, stating that “injunctions operate against actions and policies, not against numbers on a page; a defendant cannot evade the force of an injunction by renumbering the policy enjoined.”

“The key question is whether some of the enjoined policies or conduct continue, and here they plainly do,” the text notes.

Separately, Hawaii filed a suit challenging the ban, citing the negative impact it has placed on tourism for the state. The federal government reportedly responded that Hawaii’s claims are based on “pure speculation,” according to the Associated Press. The AP further reported that while no other states have signed on to Hawaii’s suit, Illinois, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and the District of Columbia collectively filed an amicus in support of the state’s suit. A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Notably, two recent Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reports found evidence that undermine the logic behind the Muslim ban. According to thedraft of one, obtained by the AP, “citizenship is unlikely to be a reliable indicator of potential terrorist activity.”

Between March 2011 and the present, the text reports on “at least 82 primarily US-based individuals, who died in the pursuit of or were convicted of any terrorism-related federal offense inspired by a foreign terrorist organization.” Of those 82 people, a little more than half were born in the United States.

“Of the foreign-born individuals, they came from 26 different countries, with no one country representing more than 13.5 percent of the foreign-born total,” according to the text.

A separate DHS intelligence report, exclusively obtained byThe Rachel Maddow Show, found that “most foreign-born, US-based violent extremists likely radicalized several years after their entry to the United States, limiting the ability of screening and vetting officials to prevent their entry because of national security concerns.”

On average, the DHS found, people radicalize 13 years after they enter the country.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

Latest News

women in politics

Women Remain Vastly Underrepresented in Local Government, Despite Conventional Wisdom Suggesting Otherwise

Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sat behind President Biden during his first speech to a joint session of Congress on April 28 — representing the first time two women held such important and high-ranking political offices. Even after such a historic moment, the reality…

voter restriction

Florida Follows Georgia’s Lead, Approves Racist Anti-Voter Restrictions Aimed Primarily at Democrats and People of Color

Not content with letting Georgia be the only state in the South demonized for its bigoted and racist attacks on voter rights, Florida has jumped into the fray in issuing its own series of new and highly controversial “Jim Crow-esque” anti-voting restrictions aimed specifically at disenfranchising Democrats and voters of…

Kentucky Derby

Inspired by Protests Over Breonna Taylor’s Death, Humana and Kentucky Derby Festival Launch Diversity and Inclusion Initiative in Louisville

Ahead of the 147th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 1, Kentucky Derby officials and Humana (No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020) have announced a new equity initiative meant to make the race more accessible and welcoming to everyone, regardless of race, gender, age…

crimes against human ity

‘Crime Against Humanity’; Global Report Says the US Should Be Prosecuted in International Criminal Court for Ongoing Police Murders of Black Americans

In what has been described as a “devastating” report, human rights experts and lawyers have investigated and released a 188-page analysis of the ongoing police brutality and killing of Black Americans in the U.S. Their verdict: the country is guilty of “crimes against humanity” and should be prosecuted for its…

Tokyo, Olympics

Tokyo Olympics to Encourage Significant Increase in Gender Equality Among Event’s Corporate Sponsors

Besides simply being a showcase for some of the most talented and athletic men and women on the planet, the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics are hoping their event this summer can also help promote significant change in corporate culture, both in Japan and around the globe. Bloomberg’s Ayai Tomisawa…

AbbVie Joins Over 400 Leading US Employers in the Human Rights Campaign’s ‘Business Coalition for the Equality Act’

Originally published on LinkedIn. AbbVie ranked No. 19 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   AbbVie has joined a group of over 400 corporations and leading U.S. employers to support the Human Rights Campaign’s “Business Coalition for the Equality Act,” an initiative advocating for federal…

Accenture and Goodwill Develop Virtual Experience To Help People Impacted by the Criminal Justice System Enter the Workforce

Originally published at prnewswire.com. Accenture is ranked No. 5 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   Goodwill Industries International has teamed with Accenture to develop an innovative virtual experience called Project Overcome. The experience is designed for people impacted by the criminal justice system who want to…