TRENTON – Acting to protect New Jersey residents impacted by the Trump Administration’s ban on travel from certain Muslim-majority countries, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today joined a multi-state U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief that challenges the ban as unconstitutional and harmful to the participating states.
The amicus brief supports Hawaii in its continuing legal fight against the President’s travel ban – known as Proclamation 9645 – which prohibits entry into the U.S. by travelers from Muslim-majority countries Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen and Chad, while also restricting entry by all North Korean nationals and certain government officials from Venezuela.
“In addition to being unconstitutional and running counter to such American values as acceptance, religious tolerance and non-discrimination, the Administration’s ban on travel has done incalculable economic and other harm to New Jersey and the other states,” said Attorney General Grewal. “It’s well documented that New Jersey has one of the most diverse populations in the country. We are also a hub for international travel, and many of those travelers are engaged in business, higher education, medicine, research, academic study and tourism – as well as the simple joys of family life. Hawaii’s fight is also our fight.”
Hawaii challenged the travel ban on a variety of grounds — including that it exceeds the President’s authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act and it violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution because it was enacted for the purpose of excluding Muslims from the U.S.
The Supreme Court amicus brief filed today is led by New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, and in addition to New Jersey, has been signed onto by 17 states and the District of Columbia.
The brief argues that, like its predecessors, the latest ban on entry to the U.S. by travelers from certain Muslim-majority countries does irreparable harm to the universities, hospitals, businesses and residents of the participating states.
Specifically, the brief notes, the ban disrupts the ability of public universities to recruit and retain students and faculty, impairing academic staffing and research, and causing the loss of tuition and tax revenues.
The ban also disrupts the provision of medical care at hospitals and harms the science, technology, finance and tourism industries, the states contend, by inhibiting the free exchange of information, ideas and talent between the designated countries and the amici states. This in turn contributes to long-term economic and other harm.
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