Sen. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-California, led the amici curiae brief signed by members of Congress in support of Hawaii’s lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s proclamation banning travel to the U.S. from several Muslim-majority countries.
“President Trump’s travel ban has caused confusion and chaos across the country and around the world. Moreover, it does exactly the opposite of what it intends — it undermines, rather than enhances, our national security interests. The order threatens critical international relationships and alienates those whose cooperation is needed in the fight against violent extremism," said Coons and Lofgren. “While the presidential proclamation was drafted to appear neutral with respect to religion, it is clear the intent is to target Muslims — as President Trump and his advisors have repeatedly stated they intended to do. This is a brazen violation of the Constitution’s Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses and principles of equal protection, as well as the Immigration and Nationality Act’s categorical prohibition of nationality-based discrimination. The role of an independent judiciary in enforcing these protections is core to our democracy. The best way to protect the security of the nation, to uphold foundational American values, and to safeguard our democracy is to respect the Constitution’s fundamental protections and the laws passed by Congress. By those measures, the travel ban fails.”
As the brief states, the members of Congress are “committed to ensuring that our immigration laws and policies both help protect the nation from foreign and domestic attacks and comport with fundamental constitutional principles, including the First Amendment.”
The brief goes on, explaining that the proclamation “upends Congress’s carefully considered and calibrated scheme for addressing potential terrorists’ abuse of our immigration laws...substituting Congress’s tailored restrictions with a dragnet ban that denies entry to more than 150 million individuals — virtually all from Muslim-majority countries — based on their nationality alone. This sweeping ban…guts Congress’s regulatory scheme and replaces it with the President’s own preferred policy.”
Read the full brief at bit.ly/2LQMomW.