Attorney General Bob Ferguson announces federal lawsuit against Trump
Update: Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Monday a first-of-its-kind federal lawsuit by the state against President Donald Trump, the federal department of Homeland Security and high-ranking Trump administration officials.
In announcing the lawsuit, Ferguson said the President’s executive orders suspending immigration from seven countries with majority Muslim populations is unconstitutional.
Ferguson’s complaint asks the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington to declare key provisions of the executive order unconstitutional and illegal. He also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order seeking an immediate halt to the executive order’s implementation.
The complaint says that the president’s actions are “separating Washington families, harming thousands of Washington residents, damaging Washington’s economy, hurting Washington-based companies, and undermining Washington’s sovereign interest in remaining a welcoming place for immigrants and refugees.”
Ferguson asked the court to schedule a hearing within 14 days.
“Every hour matters,” he said. “… It’s impacting people’s lives in a profound way.”
Major Washington state institutions supported the lawsuit through declarations filed alongside the complaint. In their declarations, Amazon and Expedia outlined the negative ways the executive order affects their operations and their employees.
Gov. Jay Inslee, who also spoke at Monday’s press conference, said the executive order unfairly targets Muslims.
“The clear intent of this executive order is to discriminate against one faith,” Inslee said. “It has a specific provision which creates for the first time in American history a test that bases your rights under the Constitution on what religion you follow.”
“This is not a reality TV show, this is reality,” Inslee added.
Original story: Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson called Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration “un-American and unconstitutional” and plans to announce legal action Monday morning.
“My team and I are working this weekend to explore our options to oppose this illegal action,” Ferguson said. “The rule of law applies to everyone — including President Trump — and I will use the authority of my office to hold him accountable to it.”
That opposition is expected to come in the form of a lawsuit, KIRO Radio’s Dave Ross says.
However, former state Attorney General Rob McKenna is skeptical Ferguson and the 15 other attorney generals will be successful with their case.
“I think they are going to seek some sort of injunction against the new policy on refugees and the travel ban,” he said.
Under the order signed by President Trump on Friday, citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries are prevented from entering the U.S. for the next 90 days. Additionally, all refugees are prevented from entering the country for 120 days while federal officials come up with vetting procedures to ensure they pose no threat. Syrian refugees are blocked indefinitely. President Trump calls the measure part of extreme vetting to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the country.
McKenna says the state AGs will try to block that action.
“That will be a tough case for them to win,” he added. “The president has a great deal of power of who to let in [the country] and when. “Since the policy boils down to stepping back and reviewing their vetting procedures for people coming in … I think it’s unlikely the AGs will ultimately prevail, but they are raising an important question.”
Meanwhile, President Trump has denied his immigration order was to blame for the disruptions at major airports over the weekend, the Associated Press reports.
“There is nothing nice about searching for terrorists before they can enter the country,” Trump wrote in a series of early morning tweets. “This was a big part of my campaign. Study the world!”
Trump has defended his decision to take action on the proposed travel ban — via Twitter.
If the ban were announced with a one week notice, the “bad” would rush into our country during that week. A lot of bad “dudes” out there!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 30, 2017
Listen to the entire conversation below.