Washington state sues Trump in effort to halt immigration executive order nationwide

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OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington state’s attorney general says he is suing President Donald Trump over an executive order that suspended immigration from seven countries with majority-Muslim populations and sparked nationwide protests.

Bob Ferguson announced Monday that he is filing a federal lawsuit against President Donald Trump, some high-ranking administration officials and the Department of Homeland Security. The attorney general’s office says the complaint asks U.S. District Court to declare unconstitutional key provisions of Trump’s executive order on immigration.

“No one is above the law — not even the President,” Ferguson said. “And in the courtroom, it is not the loudest voice that prevails. It’s the Constitution.”

The lawsuit seeks to invalidate the new policy nationwide. Trump signed an executive order Friday that suspends all immigration for citizens of the seven countries for 90 days.

Trump has repeatedly said that the move is aimed at protecting the nation against extremists looking to attack Americans and American interests.

Ferguson's office says the complaint claims 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 argues that the Executive Order violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of Equal Protection and the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, infringes individuals’ constitutional right to Due Process and contravenes the federal Immigration and Nationality Act.

"Major Washington state institutions supported the Attorney General’s lawsuit through declarations filed alongside the complaint. In their declarations, Amazon and Expedia set forth the detrimental ways the Executive Order impacts their operations and their employees."

Over the weekend, a federal judge in New York issued an order preventing the Trump Administration from enforcing the executive order from restricting certain people from traveling to the United States.

Ferguson was one of 16 state attorneys general who released a statement Sunday calling Trump's immigration action "un-American and unlawful."

“Never has our system of checks and balances been more important. Washington is filing the first suit of its kind in the nation, thanks to the good work of Attorney General Ferguson and his team,” said Gov. Jay Inslee at a Monday news conference. “I would not be surprised to see more. Until Congress takes this Administration to task for the obvious moral and legal injuries suffered by innocent, law-abiding people entering our country, it is up to states to protect and promote the rights of the people who reside in our borders.”

Trump's order sparked protests around the country over the weekend.

Ferguson said Washington is the first state to sue Trump's administration over the immigration executive order. He is asking the court to schedule a hearing within 14 days.

Officials said a copy of the complaint would be available on the attorney general's website later in the day.

State Republican Party Chairman Susan Hutchison held a news conference in response to Ferguson's lawsuit and said the filing was Ferguson's first move for running for governor in 2020. She also said that "the American people" are behind Trump's order.

Meanwhile, the Seattle City Council on Monday unanimously approved a resolution defying Trump's temporary immigration and refugee ban. The "Welcoming City" resolution reaffirms Seattle's "don't ask, don't collect" policy on immigration status and says the city will not allow its police department to be used as "de facto immigration officers."

 

Monday's resolution in Seattle basically reaffirmed Mayor Ed Murray's statements that Seattle will continue to be an immigrant-protecting "sanctuary city."