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States, Companies, Former Secretaries of State File Lawsuits Against Trump Travel Ban

  • VOA News

Protesters march from Lafayette Park near the White House in Washington, Feb. 4, 2017, during a rally protesting the immigration policies of President Donald Trump.

Nearly 100 companies, two states, and two former U.S. secretaries of state have filed arguments against President Donald Trump's temporary ban on immigration from seven Muslim countries with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

A group of prominent Democrats, including former Secretaries of State John Kerry and Madeleine Albright, called for the court to continue blocking the ban Monday, arguing that it was "ill-conceived, poorly implemented, and ill-explained."

"We view the order as one that ultimately undermines the national security of the United States rather than making us safer," they argued, in contrast to Trump's arguments the ban would enhance national security.

In addition, 97 tech companies, including Silicon Valley giants Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter, filed a legal brief late Sunday with the ninth circuit, supporting the lawsuit against the travel ban.

Late last week, U.S. District Court Judge James Robart of Washington state temporarily blocked Trump's executive order temporarily halting travel to the U.S. by refugees and others from seven Muslim majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. On Sunday, the appeals court rejected the Trump administration's demand to reinstate the travel ban.

A woman gives a thumbs up as people in a passing car honk as demonstrators in favor of President Donald Trump's executive order banning travel to the U.S. from seven primarily Muslim nations stand across the street from the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport, Feb. 4, 2017.
A woman gives a thumbs up as people in a passing car honk as demonstrators in favor of President Donald Trump's executive order banning travel to the U.S. from seven primarily Muslim nations stand across the street from the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport, Feb. 4, 2017.

Among others who have filed briefs in support of the lawsuit filed by Minnesota and Washington are the state of Hawaii, a group of lawyers, the Korematsu Center for law studies at the University of Washington, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), HIAS, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Any other interested parties have until late Monday to file briefs with the appeals court, which has jurisdiction over the western United States.

The three-judge 9th circuit panel is expected to rule fairly quickly after the Monday deadline, after which the case will likely move on to the Supreme Court, according to legal analysts.

Trump blames judge

"The judge opens our country to potential terrorists and others that do not have our best interests at heart," Trump tweeted Sunday, referring to Robart. "Bad people are very happy!"

In a follow-up tweet, the president said he has ordered the Department of Homeland Security to check people entering the United States "very carefully," adding that the courts have made the job "very difficult."

Vice President Mike Pence defended Trump’s criticism of Robart, saying the president expresses himself in a “unique” way and the American people find it refreshing.

“The judge’s action in this case about making a decision about American foreign policy and national security, it’s just very frustrating to the president,” Pence told NBC's Meet the Press Sunday.

But Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on CNN he thought it was “best not to single out judges for criticism."

“We all want to keep terrorists out of the United States, but we can’t shut down travel. We certainly don’t want our Muslim allies who fought with us in countries overseas not to be able to travel to the United States. We need to be careful about this," McConnell said.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California, told NBC Sunday she would be willing to work on legislation to allow for a temporary suspension “as long as we are honoring the Constitution.”

“We always have to subject our vetting to scrutiny to see if it’s working, but doesn't mean we institute an unconstitutional, immoral ban on Muslims coming into the country,” she said.

Ali Abdullah Alghazali, 13, right, from Yemen, wipes his eyes as he walks with his father Abdullah Alghazali, left, and his uncle after arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Feb. 5, 2017.
Ali Abdullah Alghazali, 13, right, from Yemen, wipes his eyes as he walks with his father Abdullah Alghazali, left, and his uncle after arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Feb. 5, 2017.


After the judge's decision, the Customs and Border Protection Service started to allow travelers with valid visas to come to the U.S.

But a Somali refugee said about 140 refugees whose resettlement in the United States was blocked by Trump's executive order were sent back to their refugee camp and it was unclear if or when they could travel.

The group had been expected to settle in the United States this week, but was sent back to the Dadaab camp in eastern Kenya on Saturday from the International Organization for Migration transit center in Nairobi where they had been staying.

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